Skip to main content

Full text of "History of Douglas and Grant counties, Minnesota : their people, industries, and institutions"

See other formats

II tl|l;lf , 


■ ■! ill ille ■ 


^ ''li^fe-iv'-i'iii- 






v.l , 

1192545 / 


3 1833 01077 1183 



Douglas and Grant Counties 






With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and 
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families 



977 to/ 1916 

D '^' X- Indianapolis, Indiana 



To those whose hands planted the first homes in Douglas and Grant 
counties; whose love of religion and education established the first churches 
and schools ; whose desire for good government led to the organization of 
civil townships and the selection of worthy public officials; whose wish for 
material jn-osperity has caused the building of mills and factories and the 
opening of \irgin tracts of land to culti\ation — to those who are gone, as 
well as to the many pioneers still liA'ing, is tliis record of their achievements 



.\11 life and achievement is e\-olution; present wisdom comes from past 
experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exer- 
tion and sacrifice. The deeds and moti\es of the men who have gone before 
have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and 
states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a privi- 
lege. Jt required great courage, sacrifice and prixation. Compare the pres- 
ent conditions of the people of Douglas and Grant counties, ^Minnesota, with 
what thicy were six tlecades ago. From a trackless wilderness and \irgin 
land, they have come to be centers of prosperity and civilization, with millions 
of wealth, systems of railways, educational and religious institutions, varied 
industries and immense agricultural and dairy interests. Can anv thinking 
person lie insensible to the fascination <)f the study which discloses the aspira- 
tions and efforts of the early ]>ioneers who so strongly laid the foundation 
u])on which has l;ecn reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? To 
perpetuate the stnry of these jjcople and to trace and record the social, 
religious, educational, political and industrial jirogress of the community 
from its first incejition, is the function ol the local historian. A sincere 
purpose to preser\e facts and jiersonal memoirs that are deserving of per- 
petuation, and which unite the present to the past, is the motive for the 
present publication. The publishers desire to extend their thanks to those 
who hax'e so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to the 
citizens of Douglas and Grant counties, for the uniform kindness with which 
they ha\-e regarderl this iindertaking, and for their many services rendered 
in the gaining of necessary information. 

In placing the "History of Douglas and .Grant Counties, Minnesota," 
before the citizens, the publishers can conscientiously claim that they have 
carried out the plan as outlined in the ]>rospectus. luery biographical' sketch 
in the work has been submitted to the part}- interested, for correction, and 
therefore any error of fact, if there be any, is solely due to the person for 
whom the sketch was prepared. Confident that our effort to please will 
fully meet the approbation of the public, we are. 






A portion of Minnesota Originally Included in Louisiana Purchase — Indian 
Cessions and Treaties — Territorial Government Established — Boundaries — 
Governor Alexander Ramsey — Eirst Territorial Legislature — The Historic 
Council with the Indians at Traverse des Sioux — The Treaty — Indian 
Hunters Cause Trouble — Townsite Speculation — Constitutional Convention — 
l-'irst State Lesislature— A<lniissi<in of Minnesota as a State— Aid to Rail- 
roads — l-inancial String iu\ — direst Among the Indians — Massacre of 
1S')2 — Punishment of the Indians — Sul)sequent Treaties — A Period of Rapid 
Development — Trouble Because of the State Issue of Railroad Bonds — Settle- 
ment of the Ouestion and Activity in Railroad Building — Diversified Farm- 
ing Interests — Population Statistics — Military Record — Xame — Geograpliy — 
Area — Rivers — Lakes — Elevations — Climate — Chronological History of the 


Location of the County — Area — Surface Features — Xatural Drainage — 
Lakes — Topography — Moraines — Drift and Glacial Deposits — Altitudes — 
Soil — Timber — Geological Structure — Mean Elevation Due to Underlying 
Formations — Building Stone — Lime — Aboriginal Earthworks. 



White Men in Minnesota Prior to the Discovery by Columbus — The Record 
— Conflicting Views as to the Authenticity of the Rune Stone Found in 
Douglas County — The Discovery — Topography of Surroundings — Examina- 
tion of Stone l)y Experts — Details of the Inscription — References to the 
Topography of the Region — Where was Vinland? — Cliaracteristics of the 
Stone — Discussion of Its .Authenticity — Rune Books — Review of tlie Find- 
ing of the Stone and Xotes on the Record Given by the Inscription — Lin- 
guistic Objections — Collateral Evidence — Resolutions Adopted by the 
Museum Committee of the Minnesota State Historical Society — Investiga- 
tions of Prof. George T. Flom — Bibliography. 


Great Xatural Beauty of the Park Region of Minnesota — Lack of .\l)Solute 
Proof of Some Early Historical Statements— The Old Red River Trail— The 


Kinkaid Brothers and Their Settlement at Alexandria — Gradual Growth of 
the New Settlement — Other Early Settlements — The First County Govern- 
ment — Development of the County — Effect of News of the Indian Uprising 
on the Early Settlement — Echoes of Pioneer Days — Henry Gager's Stage 
Station — Mosquitoes in Pioneer Times — Brandon Township's First Home- 
stead — First School Houses — Pioneer Reminiscences — Primitive Ways of 
Agriculture — Early Days of the Railroad — Conditions in the Pioneer Schools 
— Quick and liffective Remedy for Frostbites. 


Causes for the Sioux Outbreak of 1862 — Story of the Trouble — Every 
Frontier Dwelling a Charnel House — Siege of Ft. Ridgely — Suppression of 
The Sioux — Battles of Birch Coulie and Wood Lake — Pitiful Scenes at Camp 
Release — Punishment of the Guilt}' — Effect in Douglas County of the 
Uprising — Tragic Death of .\ndrew Austin — The Old Stockade at Alex- 


First Civil and Judicial Relations — Legislative Act Creating the County — 
Boundaries — First Meeting of the County Board — County Buildings — Court 
House History — Jails — Population of Douglas County— Naturalization Rec- 
ords — County Financial Statement. 


First Officers — Roster of County Commissioners — Auditors — Treasurers — 
Registers of Deeds — Sheriffs — County Attorneys — Judges of Probate — Sur- 
veyors — Coroners — Clerks of the Court — Court Commissioners — Superin- 
tendents of Schools — Douglas County in the Legislature — I^egislative 
Apportionments, with Roster of Senators and Representatives. 

Civil and Congressional Townships — Osakis Township — Creation — Settle- 
ment — Officials — Alexandria Township — Creation — First Officials — Settle- 
ment — Present Officials— Holmes City Township — Created — First Election 
— Settlement and Land I-jitries — Pioneer Life, a Reminiscence — Early Events 
— Present Officials — Brandon Township — Created — Settlement — Officials — 
— Moe Township — Creation of — Settlers — Officials — Lake Mary Township — 
Establishment — Name — Settlement — Officials — Leaf Valley Township — Crea- 
tion — Settlement — Officials — Millerville Township^Created — Settlement — 
Officials — Evansville Township — Established — First Homesteads — Officials — 
Orange Township — Established — Land Entries — Officials — Ida Township — 
Established — Early Homesteaders — Officials — Carlos Township — Created — 
Settlement — Officials — Urness Township — First Settlers — Officials — Hudson 
Township — Established — Early Settlers — Present Officers — Belle River 
Township — Establishment and Name — Land Entries — First Settlers — Early 
Conditions — Indian History and Tradition — Present Officers of the Town- 
sliip — Solem Township — Creation and Name — Settlers — Present Officers — 
Miltona Township — Creation — Settlement — Officials — La Grand Township — 
Establishment — Settlement — Present Officers — Spruce Hill Township — 
Establishment and First Election — Present Officers. 



Early Conditions Favorable to the Development of Farms — Timber and 
Water Supply — Location of Douglas County — Surface Features — Land and 
Water Area — Timber — Soil — Climate — Farms and Principal Crops — Corn 
Prizes — Potato Culture — Fruits — Live Stock — Dairying — Rural Mail Deliv- 
ery — Telephones — Good Roads — Douglas County Agricultural Association — 
— Douglas County as a Summer Resort — Registered Farm Names. 


Wonderful Transformation in Transportation System — Blazing of the First 
Roads — Military Trails — Government Road Surveys — The First Railroads and 
Later Lines Which Have Entered the County — County Roads. 


The Little Log School Houses of Pioneer Days — High Value Placed on 
Education by Early Settlers — Minnesota's Splendid Educational System — 
The County's School System Epitomized — Alexandria City Schools and 
Some of the Early Teachers — Clerks of the School Districts — Teachers of 
Douglas County. 


First Religious Services in the Homes of the Early Settlers — The Itinerant 
Preacher — First Church Organizations — A List of the Seventy-three 
Churches Incorporated in Douglas County — Methodist Episcopal Churches- 
Congregational Churches — Norwegian Lutheran Churches — Swedish Luthe- 
ran Churches — Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Churches — Swedish Baptist 
Church — German Evangelical Lutheran Church — Catholic Churches — Episco- 
pal Church — Church of Christ, Scientist — Seventh-day .\dventist Church — 
Presbyterian Church. 


.\n Account of the Various Papers. Past and Present, Which Have Been 
Influential in the Advancement of Douglas County. 


First x\ttorneys in Douglas County — Later Attorneys — Douglas County 


Self-reliance of Early Settlers in Times of Sickness — The First Physicians 
in Douglas County — .Alexandria Physicians — Osakis Physicians and Those 
Elsewhere in the County — Doctors of Dental Surgery. 


High Interest Rate in Early Days— A Record of the Banks at -Alexandria, 

Osakis, Evansville, Brandon, Carlos, Garfield, Nelson, Kensington. Forada, 
Melba and MillerviUe. 


Soldiers Monument — Douglas County's Loyalty in tlic Civil War — Grand 
Army of the Republic — -The Spanish-.American War. 


The Spirit of Fraternity Among the Pioneers— The First Lodges in the 

County — IndepL-ndent Order of Odd Fellows — Ancient Order of United 
Workmen — Knights of Pythias — Modern Woodmen of America — Scandi- 
navian Mutual Aid Association Siloah — Independent Order of Good Temp- 
lars — Woman's Christian Temperance Union — Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons — Brotherhood of American Yeomen — Modern Brotherhood of Amer- 
ica — Douglas County Humane Society. 


Beautiful for Location — Modern Improvements — In the Days of the Begin- 
ning — Subsequent Development — The City Government — Elections and Offi- 
cials of the City — The Postoffice — Commercial and Industrial Concerns — 
Tlie Commercial Club — Free Public Library. 


Epitomized History of Osakis, Touching Its Location, Early Record, First 
Events, Business Interests, Public L'tilities, Manufacturing Industries, Church 
and Fraternal Societies, Commercial Club. Postoffice, Educational Advan- 
tages and Homes — Evansville, Brandon, Holmes City, Nelson, Garfield, 
Melby, Forada, Miltona, Millersville, Carlos and Kensington. 


Home-coming Week at Alexandria — Memories of Other Days, a Cluster of 
Reminiscences — William Everett Hicks, the Man Who Started Alexandria 
Going — Senator Knute Nelson. Alexandria's "Grand Old Man" — Alexandria's 
First Village President — F'irst Commercial -Association Incorporated — The 
Celebrated Paulson Case — Reminiscences by a F'irst Settler — .An Early Trav- 
eler's Impressions — An Impressionist's View of Alexandria — Something 
About Mules and Mule Drivers — Glimpses of Claim-stakes and Claim- 
shanties — The .Approach to Alexandria — Hospitality of the Wilderness — The 
Sims Brothers — Old People's Home — Early Daj'S Near Nelson. 



Location — Area — Surface Features — Drainage — Lakes — Elevations — Soil — 
Timber — Geological Structure — Lake .Agassiz — Building Stone— Lime— Bricks 
— .Aboriginal Earthworks. 


Settlement Deferred Because of the Indian L'nrest in the Early Sixties — 
Causes of the Outbreak — First Bloodshed — .Ambuscade at Redwood F'erry — 
-Attack on New Ulm — Battle of Birch Coulie and at Wood Lake — Events in 
Grant County During the Outbreak — The Old Stockade — Expeditions 
Through Grant County. 


Edward (Iriffin, the l-"irst White Resident of Grant County — Some of the 
I'irst Settlers— Pioneer Conditions— Settlement, by Townships, and Interest- 
ing Incidents in Connection Therewith. 


Legislative Act Estaljlishing the County — Locating the County Seat — Name 
of the County — First Commissioners and Some of Their Early Acts — Com- 
missioner Districts Estalilished — The Second Board — First County Court 
House — County-seat Contest — The Present Court House — Population Statis- 
tics — Naturalization Statistics — Countj- Finances. 


County Commissioners — Auditors — Treasurers — Registers of Deeds — Sher- 
iffs — County Attorneys — Judges of Probate — Surveyors — Coroners — Clerks 
of the Court — Court Commissioners — Superintendents of Schools — Grant 
County in the Legislature — Senators and Representatives — Apijortionnients. 


An Account of the Organization, First Elections, I'irst and Present Officers, 
and Other Interesting l-'acts in the Townships of Lien. Logan, Elk Lake, 
Pelican Lake, Elbow Lake, Pomnie de Terre, Erdahl, Stony Brook, Land, 
Rosevillc, Maesville. Gorton, Delaware, Lawrence, Sanford and North 


Pioneers I'avored by Wonderfid Natural Resources — Getting Started on the 
Pioneer F"arm — Some Early Difficulties — E\olution of F'arm Machinery — 
Tree Planting — Diversified Farming — Statistics of Production — Modern 
F'arm Conditions — County .Agricultural Agent — Farmers' Clubs — Recorded 
I'arni Names — Grant County .Agricultural .Association. 


Trails, the First Routes of Travel— The First Roads— Old Stage Routes- 
Trend of Early Settlement— Laying Out the Early Wagon Roads— State 
Highway Commission — Railroads in Grant County. 


High Ideals of the Pioneers — First School Houses — Scliool Districts Estab- 
lished — Sketch of the F^arly Schools by a Pioneer — Some of the Early School 
Houses — Pioneer School Conditions — Teachers of 189() — Development of 
School System — .Aims of the Modern Seliool — Teachers for 1916 — School 
District Officers — F'inancial Statement. 


Synod Lutheran Churches — Rev. Gullik M. Erdahl— Swedish livangelical 
Lutheran Churches — Xorwcgian United Lutheran Church — Presbyterian 
Church — Rev. James Godward — Methodist Churches — Catholic Churches — 
Seventh-Day .Adventist Church — Other Church Incorporations. 


Story of Journalistic Efforts Which Have .Api)eared in Grant County and of 
the Papers Xow in Existence Here. 


Early Judicial Jurisdiction of Grant County— Judges — .Attornevs — Story of 
the F'irst Court Session. 


Sharp Contrast Between Early Conditions and Those of Today — First Physi- 
cians in the County — Physicians Who Have Practiced at Herman, Elbow 
Lake. Ashbj-, Wendell, Barrett and Hoffman — Grant Comity Dentists- 
Veterinary Surgeons. 


High Interest Rates in Early Days — .\ Brief History of Each of the Finan- 
cial Institutions in Herman. Elbow Lake, Hoffman, Ashby, Wendell, Nor- 
cross, Barrett and Erdahl. 


Grand Army of the Republic — Many Veterans Among the Early Settlers. 


Ancient Free and Accepted Masons — Order of the Eastern Star — -Knights 
of Pythias — Independent- Order of Odd Fellows — Modern Woodmen of 
-America — Brotherhood of American Yeomen — Degree of Honor. 


Platted — Location — Selection as County Seat — First Election — Municipal 
Officers — Slow Early Growth — Postoffice — Schools — Business Directory — 
Creamery Interests — Telephones — Concert Band. 


Herman — Settlement — Platting — First Officers — Present Officers — Schools — 
Community Social Club — Band — Business Interests — Hoffman — Beginning 
of — First Business Men — First and Present Officers — Education — Religious 
Organizations — Ladies' Band — Present Business Interests — Wendell — Begin- 
ning of and Early Events — Postoffice — Incorporation — First and Present 
Officers — Schools — Public Improvements — Business Directory — Ashby — 
Early Records Destroyed — Officers — Schools — Postoffice — First Merchants 
— Present Business Interests — Barrett — Original Plat — Incorporation — First 
and Present Officers — Manufacturing Industries — Postoffice — Business Inter- 
ests — Norcross — Hereford — Erdahl — Pommc dc Terrc — Cancstorp. 


County-seat Contest — "A Crow Feast" — "An Eventful Day" — "News from 
Grant County" — Ancient Stone Carving — Indian Scare of 1876 — Grant County 
Old Settlers' Association — .\ Pioneer of Pioneers — Thomas C. Hodgson. 





Aboriginal Earthworks 71 

Acreage of Farms 197 

Agricultural Association 201 

Agriculture, Development of 194 

Agriculture, Primitive 137 

Alexandria — 

Attractiveness of 300 

Banks , 280 

Beginning of 301 

Business Interests 309 

Churches__224, 221, 229, 230, 231, 
2li, 235, 246, 247, 251, 253, 254, 262 

City Buildings 308 

City Government 302 

Elections 304 

First Merchants 301 

Growth of 126, 302 

High Schoof 217 

Home-coming Week 331 

Impressionist's View of 349 

Improvements 300 

Incorporation as Village 303 

Indian Scare 148 

Kinkaid, Alexander 125 

Lawyers 212 

Library 312 

Lodges 287, 291, 292, 294, 296 

Lot Sales 126 

Mail Routes, Early 126 

Mayors 307 

Merchants 309 

Newspapersi 265 

Officials, Roster of 304 

Old People's Home 357 

Physicians 275 

Population 158, 300 

Alexandria — Con. 

Postofficc History ■ 126, 308 

President, First Village 343 

Reminiscences 333, 346 

Roster of Officials 304 

Schools 218 

Settlement 124, 127, 132 

Stockade 134, 150 

Townsitc Company 126 

Village Council 303 

Alexandria Township — 

Altitude 66 

Churches 227 

Officers, First 153, 173 

Officers, Present 174 

Organization 153, 173 

I'opulation 158 

Settlement ._ 173 

Topography 65 

Altitudes in County 65 

Altitudes in the State 49 

Ancient I'Vce and Accepted Masons 295 
Ancient Order of l"nited Workmen 292 

Animals, Farm 201 

Apportionments, Legislative 169 

Area of County 59 

Area of the State 47 

Attorneys 272 

Auditors, County 153, 164 

Austin, Andrew, Death of 149 


Banks and Banking 280 

Baptist Church 221, 228, 229, 230 

Belle River Township — 

Altitude 65 

Churches 234. 259 


ricllc River Township — Con. 

Indians 189 

Mills. Early 189 

Officers - 190 

Organization lh8 

Population 158 

Settlement 188 

Bench and Bar 272 

l!,iuvolcnt Snciities l.._-287. 291 

Kethcsda Society 2i2 

lUnmdaries of eounty 152 

Banks 283 

Business Interests 324 

Churches 230, 234, 325 

Incorporation 324 

Indian Scare 149 

LaVvyers 273 

Lodges 292 

Xewspapers 269, 271 

Officials 324 

riiysicians 278 

Population 159 

Schools 324 

Settlement 130. 323 

Stage Station, Early 323 

Brandon Township — 

Birth, First 133 

Gager, Henry 133 

Homestead, First 135 

Officers 179 

Organization 178 

Population 158 

Settlement 133, 179 

Building Stone 71 


Banks 283 

Piusiness Interests 329 

Churches 234, 252, 259 

Plat 329 

Popiulation 159, 329 

Carlos Township — 

Altitude 66 

Churches 232, 2ii 

Officers 185 

Organization 185 

Population 159 

Carlos Township — Con. 

Settlement 185 

Topography 65 

Catholic Church 232. 233, 234, 254 

Cereal Crops 198 

Chippewa (see Brandon) __130. 134, 149 

Chippewa Township 66 

Chiropractor 279 

Chronolo.gical History of Minnesota 50 

Church of Christ, Scientist 263 

Churches 224 

Claim-stakes and Claim-shanties 351 

Clerks of the Court 153, 167 

Clerks of School Districts 221 

Climate of Minnesota 49 

Conimissioners, County 161 

Commissioners, County. I'irst 129 

Commissioners. Court 167 

Congregational Church__224, 227. 231. 238 

Constitution of State 39 

Corn as a Crop 199 

Coroners 153, 167 

County .\ttorncys 153, 166 

County Auditors 153, 164 

County Boundaries 152 

County Buildings 153 

County Coiumissioners, h'irst 129 

County Commissioners, Roster of 16! 

County h'inances 161 

County Government, First 129 

County Offices, First 154 

County Officials, Roster of 161 

County Organized 152 

County Roads 214 

County School Superintendents 168 

County School System 217 

County Surveyors 153, 166 

County Treasurers 153, 164 

Courcurs des Bois, the 211 

Court, Clerks of the 153, 167 

Court Commissioners 167 

Court House History 154 

Creameries 200 

Croiis, I'arm 198 


Daughters of Rebekah 297 

Dentists 278 

Diversified I'^arniing Interests 46 


Doctors 27S 

Douglas County Agricultural Ass'u. 201 

Douglas Count}- Humane Society— 299 

Drainage 195 


Early Days near Xclson 357 

I"larly I'^aniilies 127 

Early Settlement of Count}' 123 

ICarthworks 71 

Education 216 

r.lection. Eirst in County 129 

l'"piscoi)al Cliurch 262 

l-Aangelical Association 229, 231 

ICvangclical Lutheran Church 

227, 229, 230, 2M. 234, 253 

Evansville — 

Ranks •- 282 

I'lusincss Interests 323 

Churches 226. 229, 

231, 2ii. 234. 246, 247, 248, 264, i22 

Improvements i22 

Incorporation 322 

Indian Scare 149 

Lawyers 27i 

Location 321 

Lodges 295, ?,22 

Newspapers 271 

Officials i2?, 

Paulson Case 345 

Physicians 278 

Population 159 

Settlement 130 

Stage Station, I'.arly 322 

Evansville Township — 

.Altitude 66 

Churches 248, 250 

Officers 184 

Organization 183 

Population 1,59 

Settlement 184 


air Association 201 

amilies. Early 127 

arm Acreag:e 197 

arm .Knimals 201 

arm Xames, Registered 204 

I'armers Clubs 201 

h'arming Interests, Diversified 46 

Farms, Number of 197 

I'^inancial Statement, County 161 

First County Government 129 

F6rada 159, 264, 284, 328 

Fraternal Orders 287 "M 

F>eemasonry 295 

Free Methodist Church 230, 231 

hVostbites, Pioneer Cure for 139 


Banks 2i^3 

liusiness Interests 327 

Churches 234, 327 

Name 327 

Officials 327 

Population 159 

Postoffice 327 

Geography of the State 47 

Geology of Douglas County 59, 66 

German Evangelical Luth. Church__ 252 

Grains 19,s 

Grand -Army of the Republic 287 

Gregory, P. L. 129. 152 

Growing Season 197 

tirowth of the State 44 


Hicks, William E. 340 

Holmes City — 

Business Interests 325 

Churches-. 230, 234, 248, 251, 252, 325 

Indian Scare 149 

Location 325 

Lodges 293 

Settlement 132 

Holmes City Townshiij — 

Altitude 66 

Churches 247. 248 

Officers 178 

Organization ; 153, 174 

Pioneer Life 175 

Population 159 

Recollections of 178 

Settlement 124, 174 

Topography 65 

Home-coming, A 331 


Hospitality. Early 355 

1 1 udson Township — 

.\ltitiide 66 

Officers 187 

Organization 187 

Population 159 

Settlement 130, 187 

Topography 65 

Humane Society 299 

Ida Township — 

Altitude 66 

Churches 227, 228. 231, 248 

Moraines 64 

Officers 185 

(Organization 185 

Population 159 

Settleniient 128, 185 

Incorporated Churches 224 

Incorporated Towns 314 

Independent Order of Good Temp- 
lars 293 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows 

291, 292, 296 

Indian Hunters, Trouble with 37 

Indian Outbreak 140 

Indian Treaties 33 

Indian I'nrest 40 


Jail History 156 

Judges ^T^ 

Judges of Probate 130, 152, 153, 166 

Judiciary of Douglas County 273 

Kensington — 

Banks 284 

Business Interests 329 

Churches 233 

Location 329 

Plat 329 

Population 159 

Kensington Rune Stone Tl 

Kinkaid Brothers 124, 125 

Knights of Pvthias 292 


LaGrand Township — 

Altitude -I 66 

Churches 230 

Officers 192 

Organization 192 

Population 159 

Settlement 192 

Topo.graphy- 65 

Lake Mary Township — 

.Altitude 66 

Officers 181 

Organization 181 

Population 159 

Settlement 181 

Topography 65 

Lakes of Minnesota 48 

Lakes of the County 59 

Land Area 195 

Lawyers 272 

Leaf \'alley Township — 

Altitude 66 

Churches 226, 230 

Officers - 181 

Organization 181 

Population 159 

Settlement 181 

Legal Profession 272 

Legislative Apportionments 169 

Legislators 168 

Lime 71 

Live Stock 201 

Location of County 59 

Location of Douglas County 194 

Lodges 287. 291 

Lund Township — 

Altitude 66 

Churches 228, 232, 248, 249 

Officers 191 

Moraines 63 

Organization 191 

Population 159 

Settlement 191 


Masonic Order 295 

Massacre of 1862 42 

Medical Profession 275 


Melby 284, 328 

Methodist Episcopal Church 224, 226, 235 

Military Annals 286 

Military Record of State 46 

Military Trails 212 


Banks 284 

Business Interests 329 

Churches 233, 257 

First Things 329 

Plat 329 

Population 159 

Millerville Township — 

Altitude 65 

Moraines 63 

Officers .: 183 

Organization 182 

Population 159 

Settlement 135, 182 

Miltona 328 

Miltona Township — - 

Altitude -- 66 

Officers 191 

Organization 190 

Population 159 

Settlement 191 

Modern Brotherhood of America— 298 

Modern Woodmen of America 293 

Moe Township — • 

Altitude 66 

Churches 227, 228, 230, 233, 246 

Moraines 63 

Officers 180 

Organization 179 

Population 159 

Settlement 180 

Moraines 63 

Mosquitoes 133, 134 


Name of the State 47 

Xationality of Citizens 197 

Naturalization Records 159 

Nelson — 

Banks 284 

Business Interests 326 

Early Days 357 

First Things 325 

Incorporation 325 

Nelson — Con. 

Plat 325 

Postoffice 325 

Population 159 

School 326 

W. C. T. U 326 

Nelson. Senator Knute 342 

Newspapers 265 

Norwegian-Danish Evan. Luth. Ch._ 228 

Norwegian Evangelical Church 226 

Norwegian Evan. Luth. Church 

. 227, 229, 230 

Norwegian Lutheran Church 246 


Officers, First County 129 

Officials of County 162 

Ohnian, Olaf 72, 76, 86, 88 

Old People's Home 357 

Old Red River Trail 124 

Orange Township — 

Altitude 66 

Commercial -Association 344 

Officers 184 

Organization 184 

Population 159 

♦ Settlement 184 

Topography 65 

Organization of County 152 

Organization of Townships 172 

Osakis — 

Band 344 

Banks 281 

Business Interests 315 


224, 227. 229, 231, 232, 255, 264, 319 

Commercial Club 319 

Creamery 318 

Farmers Co-operative Assn 344 

First Events 315 

Fires 315 

High School 217 

Homes, A City of 321 

Improvements 317 

Incorporation 315 

Lawyers 273 

Location 314 

Lodges. 289, 295, 319 

Mail Service 320 



Manufacturing Industries 318 

Xante '- 314 

Xewspapcrs 271 

Officials 315 

Physicians 276 

Plat 314 

Population 159, 317 

PostofFicc 320 

Professional Interests 315 

Public L'tilitics 318 

Schools 320 

Settlement 130, 314 

Osakis Township — 

Altitude 66 

Churches 228, 248 

Xame 172 

Officers. First 153, 172 

Officers, Present 173 

Organization 153, 172 

Population 159 

Settlement 172 

Ti>i)Ography 65 

Osteopathy 279 


Patriarchs Militant 296 

Paulson Case, the Ccleliratcd 345 

Physicians 275 

Pioneer Days, Echoes of 132, 136 

Pioneer Schools, Conditions in 138 

Population of County 158, 197 

Population of the State 46 

Potatoes 199 

Precipitation 197 

Presbyterian Church 231, 234. 264 

PresSi the 265 

Probate Judges 130, 152, 153, 166 

Products, Farm 198 


Railroad Honds 39 

Railroad, the First 213 

Railroads, Early Days on .138 

Rainfall 197 

Red River Trail -_. 124 

Registered h'arm Xanies 204 

Ue-isters of Deeds 129, 152. 153, 1(6 

Related State History 33 

Religious Societies 224 

Reminiscences 132, 136. 333, 346 

Representatives 168 

Rivers 4« 

Roads, County ,_ 214 

Roster of County Officials 161 

Rune Stone, Kensington 12 

Rural I"ree Delivery 201 

Scandinavian Christian Free Church 233 
Scandinavian Evan. Luth. Church 

228. Ill 

Scandinavian Free Church of God-- 233 

Scandinavian Mut. Aid .^ssn 293 

School Districts, Clerks of 221 

School Houses, First 136 

School Superintendents, County 168 

Schools 216 

Schools. Pioneer, Conditions in 138 

Senators, State 168 

Settlement of County 123 

Seventh-Day Adventist Church -_231, 263 

Sheriffs 129, 152. 153, 165 

SherifT's Residence 1.58 

Sidelights 331 

Sims Brothers 356 

Sioux Indians, Murders by 43 

Siou.x Outbreak 140 

Soil 66, 196 

Soldiers Monument 286 

.Solem Township — 

.\ltitudc 66 

Churches 227, 229, 248 

Moraines 63 

Officers 190 

Organization 190 

Population 159 

Rime Stone 72 

Settlement 190 

Spanish-.American War 289 

Spruce Hill Township — 

Altitude 65 

Churches 228, 231. 234, 248, 249 

Moraines 63, 67 

Officers 193 

Organization 192 


Spruce Hill Townshii.— 

Population 159 

Settlement 192 

Stage Routes, Early 212 

State Constitution 39 

State Senators 168 

Stockade. Old 140 

Summer Resorts 203 

Superintendents of School 168 

Surface Features 59 

Surveyors, County 153, 166 

Swedish Raptist Church__-229, 230, 

234, 251 

Swedish Evangelical Cliurch 

225, 228, 229, 232 

Swedish Evan. Luth. Church 

229, 230. 231, 2.«, 234, 2.50 

Swedish Lutheran Church _- 247 


Teachers of Douglas County 223 

Temperature 196 

Terminal Moraines 67 

Territorial Government 34 

Timber 66, 195 

Topography of the County 63 

Towns 314 

Township Organization 172 

Townsite Speculation 38 

Trading Posts 211 

Trails, Early 124 

Trails, the First 211 

Transportation 211 

Treasurers, County 153, 164 

Treaties with Indians 33 


Union Church Society 232 

Union Religious Society 229 

I'rness Township — 

.Altitude 66 

Churches 230, 248, 250 

Lodges 293 

Officers 187 

Organization 186 

Population 159 

Settlement 186 


Value of Farm Land 197 

Vegetable Products 199 

Villages 314 


Water Area 195 

Weather Records *__— 196 

Woman's Christian Temperance 
Union 294 



■'.\ Crow Feast" 502 

Aastad 442 

-Aboriginal Earthworks 369 

-Agricultural -Agent. County 423 

-Agricultural -Association 425 

-Agriculture, Development of 419 

Altitudes 362 

-An Eventful Day 500 

-Ancient Free and .Accepted Masons_ 474 

-Ancient Stone Carving 506 

-Apportionments, Legislative 406 

Area of County 361 

-Assessment Districts, First 389 

-Attorneys 458 

-Auditors. County 389, 401 


Altitude 362 

Banks 468, 470 

Business Interests 495 

Churches 447 

Farmers' Club ^ 424 

Location 494 

Lodges 472, 479 

Lawyers 459 

Newspapers 456 

Officials 494 

Physicians 463 


Ashby— Con. 

Population 396 

Postoffice 49S 

School District Officers 438 

Schools 494 

Teachers 437 

Banks and Banking 

Baptist Church 



.. 454 

470. 471 

Business Interests 




Farmers' Club 







477 479 

Manufacturing Industries- 








School District Officers 




Beaches . ^ 



Benevolent Societies 




Bridges, Early 428 

Brotherhood of -American Yeomen- 479 
Brown, Henry SOS 

Building Stone 




Catholic Church 


Christian Reform Church 

Church of God 

Churches of Grant County—. 

Clerks of the Court 

Commissioner Districts 





—390, 400 

County .\gricultural .\gent 423 

County .\ttorneys 389, 403 

County -Auditors 389, 401 

County Commissioners, First 387 

County Commissioners, List of 

387, 389, 391, 399 

County P'inances 397 

County Officers, First 389 

County-seat Contest 392, 500 

County Seat Located 387, 389 

County Surveyors 404 

County Treasurers 389, 401 

Court Commissioners 405 

Court, First Sessions of 460 

Court House, First 391 

Court House, Present 394 

Crop Statistics 422 

Crops, Early 420 

Degree of Honor 480 

Delaware Township — • 

Altitude 362 

Geology 367 

Name 416 

Officers 416 

Organization 416 

Population 396 

Roads, Early 385 

School District Officers 438 

Schools 432 

Settlement 385 

Dentists 464 

Development of School System 435 

District Court 460 

Diversified Farming 421 

Doctors 461 

Drainage of County 361 

Commissioners, County, First 387 

Commissioners, County, List of 

387, 389, 391, 399 

Coroners 404 


Early Difficulties 420 

Early Settlement, Routes of 428 

Earthworks, -Aboriginal 369 

Eastern Star, Order of the 475 

Education 432 

Elbow Lake — 

-\ncient Stone 506 

Band 4S7 

Banks 467 


Llliew Lake— Con. 

Business Interests 485 

Churches 444,445,447, 452 

Court Houses 392, 394 

Creamery 486 

Dentists 464 

Early Growth 482 

Election. First 481 

Farmers' Clubs 424 

Growth 481 

Improvements ■ 482 

Lawyers 459 

Location 481 

Lo.Ircs 474. 476, 478, 479, 480 

Newspapers 456, 486 

Officials 482 

Physicians 462 

Flatted 481 

Population 396 

Postmaster, .An Early 378 

Postoffice History 482 

Public Utilities 482 

School District Officers 437 

Schools 483 

Teachers 437. 484 

Telephones 486 

Elliow Lake Township — 

.\ltitude 362 

Churches 442, 443 

I-"armers' Clubs 424 

Election, First 412 

First Death 381 

First Religious Service 381 

Geology 367 

Officials 412 

Organization 411 

Population 396 

School District Officers 438 

School, First 381 

Schools 432 

Settlement . 377, 380 

Elevations 362 

Elk Lake Township — 

.Altitude 362 

Churches 443 

Geology 365 

Mill, Early 381 

Officers 410 

Organization 410 

Population 396 

Elk Lake Township — Con. 

School District Officers 437 

Schools 432, 433 

Settlement 376, 377, 381 

Roads, Early 38L 429 


Banks 471 

Business Interests 498 

Churches 454 

Farmers' Club 424 

Location 498 

Plat 498 

School District Officers 440 

Erdahl. Rev. Gullik M 444 

I'-rdahl Township — 

-Altitude 362 

Lime 367 

Moraines 364 

Name 412 

Officials 412 

Organization 412 

School District Officers 437 

Schools 432 

Settlement 384 

Population 396 

Evangelical Lutheran Church 446 


Fairs, Annual 426 

Farm Conditions, Modern 422 

Farm Machinery, Evolution of 421 

Farm Names 424 

Farm Production 422 

Farmers' Clubs 423 

Farming Interests 419 

Finances of County 397 

First County Commissioners 387 

First House in County 376 

First Session of Court 460 

Fraternal Orders 474 

Freemasons 474 


Geological Structure 364 

German Evan. Luth. Church 454 

German Reformed Church 454 

Glacial Drift 364 

Godward. Rev. James 448 


Old Settlers- Association 508 

Old Stockade 374 

Order of the Eastern Star 475 

Organization of County 387 

Pelican Lake Township — 

Altitude 362 

Election, Mrst 411 

Government Road 373 

Lime 369 

Moraines 364 

Officials 411 

Organization 411 

Population 396 

Roads, Early 427 

School District Officers 438 

Schools 432, 433 

Settlement 377, 380 

Stockade 374 

Physicians 461 

Pioneer Conditions 377 

Pioneer Farms 419 

Pioneer School Conditions 435 

Pomme de Terre — 

Churches 443 

Early Stores J 380 

Laid Out 379 

Mill 380 

Plat 499 

Pomme dc Terre Township — • 

Altitude 362 

Election, First 412 

Moraines 364 

Officials 412 

Organization 412 

Population 396 

Roads. Early 427 

School District Officers 438 

Schools 432 

Settlement i77 . 379 

Population Statistics 395 

Prairie Fires 420 

Presbyterian Churcli 447 

Press, the 455 


Railroads 431 

Recorded I'-arm Names 424 

Registers of Deeds 389, 402 

Religious Societies 442 

Representatives 406 

Road Districts, First 389 

Roads, Government 373 

Roseville Township — 

Altitude 362 

Churches 454 

Election, First 414 

Xanie 383 

Officers 414 

Organization 414 

Population 396 

School District Officers 438 

Schools 383 

Settlement 383 

Routes of Early Settlement 428 

Ivoyal Xeighhors of America 477 


Sanford, Henry F. 376. 378 

Sanford Township — 

Altitude 362 

First House in County 376 

Xame 417 

Officials 417 

Organization 417 

Population 3% 

School District Officers 438 

Schools 432. 434 

Settlement 376, 377, i7i< 

School District Officers 437 

School Districts, Early „_-389, 390, 432 

School I'inancial Statement 440 

School Houses, Early 434 

School Superintendents. County 405 

Schools 432 

Schools. Early, Sketch of 433 

Secret Orders 474 

Senators, State 406 

Settlement, Early 376 

Seventh-Day Advcntist Church 4.=;3 

Sheriffs 389. 3''1. 402 

Sioux Indian Outbreak 370 

Sketch of Early Schools 433 

Soil 362 

State Highway Commission 430 

State Roads 4.W 

State Senators 406 


Stock Raising- 422 

Stockade, the Old 374 

Stone, Building 368 

Stone Carving, Ancient 506 

Stony Brook Township — 
Altitude 362 

Election, First 413 

First Religious Service 383 

House, First 383 

Officials 413 

Organization 413 

Population 396 

Roads, Early 427 

School District Officers 438 

Schools 432 

Settlement 376, 377, 382 

Streams 361 

Surface Features 361 

Superintendents of Schools 405 

Surveyors, County 404 

Swedish Evan. Luth. Church 444 

Synod Lutheran Churches 442 


Teachers in 1896 435 

Teachers in 1916 436 

Timber 364 

Township Organization 409 

Trails, Early 427 

Transportation 427 

Treasurers, County 389, 401 

Tree Planting, Early 421 

Veterinary Surgeons 46S 


Banks 469, 471 

Business Interests 493 

Churches 443, 449 

Creamery 492 

Farmers' Club 424 

Incorporation 492 

Location 492 

Lodges 478 

Merchants, Early 492 

Newspapers 456 

Officials 493 

Physicians 464 

Platted 492 

Population 396 

Postoffice 492 

Public Utilities 493 

School District Officers 439 

Schools 493 

Teachers 437 

Wheat, a Leading Crop 421 




Aancnson, Reinert _-31/ 

Aanerud, M. C .485 

Adams, Mclvin L 196 

Adensam. Henry 688 

Adensam, Wcnzl 669 

Adrianson, Clavis P 670 

Amundsen, Ole A. 169 

Amundson, Hon. Ole 43 

Amundson. Oscar 166 

Anderson. A. Emil 600 

Anderson, A. M 167 

Anderson, Aaron 458 

Anderson, Andrew H 667 

Anderson, Carl D 295 

Anderson, Charles 251 

Anderson, Charley J 623 

Anderson, F. O 578 

Anderson, Giistaf 244 

Anderson, Louis 174 

Anderson, Magnus 345 

Anderson, Ncls D 496 

Anderson, Xcls M 232 

Anderson, O. H. 534 

Anderson, Swan M 325 

Angen, Jens J 263 

Angen, Olaus 378 

Asleson, Ole 195 

Augdabl, Carl O 682 


Backelin, John 432 

Bah, Andrew O 203 

Bah, Olaus O 246 

Baker, John 544 

Baker, Lewis 544 

Baker, William R 676 

Bardahl, Hans 517 

Barker, Melvin A 591 

Bartness, Paul S 611 

Earlz, Rev. Albert F. W 575 

Bates, John C 236 

Behrends, William F 94 

Benson, John S 406 

Benson, Louis 680 

Berg, John O 677 

Bergan. Erick N -188 

Bergan, Ole N 676 

Bergh, Emil E 275 

Berglund, J. Alfred 430 

Bergstrom, John __.383 

Betland, Christopher P 551 

Betland, John C 526 

Betterman, William F 351 

Birkhofer, Hans 336 

Bjerke, Even E 620 

Boerner, Elmer 558 

Bolin, John 639 

Bordsen, Theodore 90 

Borgen, Adolph 571 

Borrill. James R 536 

I'.oulting, Walter H 274 

Bowman, Edwin 337 

Brakken, Gilbert J. 691 

Brandt, Emil J 339 

Brckke, Nels B 686 

Brevig-, Xels N 212 

Brevig. Peter N' 675 

Brewf^cr. Loren I 84 

Bronson, Clement H 504 

Bronson. Willie X 1 87 

Brough, Robert K 71 

Brown, Charles T 612 

Brown, Eli W 564 

Brown, George C 261 

Brown, John N 384 


Brown, Nicholas 384 

Brown, P. C 388 

Brown, William 662 

Brucske, lunil 476 

Brueskc. I'Vedcrick 439 

Brusc, Evert 186 

Bundy, Scott 424 

Burkcc, Axel 208 

Burros. O. J 363 

Burtness, Tidoman H 68 

Busclier. Frank 307 

Bye, Xels 479 


Campbell, Harlan S 61 

Canlicld, Charles F 89 

Carlquist, Adam 374 

Carlson, C. A 334 

Carlson, Carl J 373 

Carlson, Magnus 464 

Carlson, Samuel M 464 

Cassell, Peter 278 

Cater, Charles 88 

Christensen, Martin 411 

Christcnson, Arthur C 249 

Christenson, Christen A 106 

Christeuson, Henry 306 

Christenson, Nels C 250 

Christiansen, Chris 511 

Christopherson, Charles J 460 

Clark, John H 644 

Colbjornscn, Colbjorn W 40 

Cooley, John H 466 

Cordal, Tosten T 122 

Cowing;, William T 35 

Crabb, William J 451, Hon, George P 96 

Curtis, Jesse M 158 

Curtis, O. H 291 


Dahl. Alfred J 98 

Dahl, F.rick F 390 

Dahl, Peter E 340 

Dahlberg, Martin 1 445 

Dahlgrcn, Olaf J 661 

Dahlstrom, Carl J 2.S9 

Danek. eharles 311 

Davidson, David J 409 

Derby, L. J 658 

Dicken, James F 376 

Diment, Henry 368 

Diment, Louis 368 

Dobmeyer, F'erdinand G 472 

Drussell, Edward J 220 

Dybdal, Knute 283 

Dybdal, Tosten E 583 

Dyrud, Siver 663 


EkbcFg, Frank A 585 

Elgin, Frank 497 

EUingson, Ellen 652 

Ellingson, Fllcnd X 116 

EUingson, Nils 63 

Ellis, Ray F 465 

Engemon, Ole 253 

Englund, Peter M 455 

Engstrom, Peter . 353 

Erickson, August W 223 

Erickson, Edward P. 584 

Erickson, Erick G 618 

Erickson, Hcndrick 417 

Erickson, Peter 189 

Evenson, Nels M 51 

Evju. Halbcrt H 680 


b'agerberg, Lewis T 615 

Eahlin, Nels J. 265 

Fida, Leopold 341 

F'ida, Lucas 382 

Fisher, John M. 175 

Fjoslien. Knut O 505 

Floden, Peter 640 

Foslien, Alfred 303 

Foslien, Theodore 399 

I'oss, Hon. Louis O 562 

Frigaard, Jens 281 


Gerjord, Ole T. 521 

Gilbertson, George 176 

Gilbertson, Gilbert 113 

Gilkinson. Andrew I.. M. D I.^C 


Gillies, John E 492 

Ginther, Louis 138 

Goetzinger, Hon. William H 477 

Goodell, Charles S 159 

Gregersen, Anton H. 56 

Grinder, Christian C 193 

Gronwold, Herman •. 185 

Groven, Knute 267 

Gruetzmacher, Robert 82 

Guenther, Gustavus 576 

Gulbrandscn, Ole 554 

Gulbranson, Ole 653 

Gulson, H. A 356 

Gundcrson. John L 179 

Gustafson, Gustaf H 579 


Haatvedt, Carl A. 288 

Haatvedt, Ole A 288 

Halgrimson, J. E 184 

Halvorson, Albert O 491 

Halvorson, John T 343 

Halvorson, Osten 228 

Hammer, John 362 

Hand, William R., M. D 569 

Handschug, William A 588 

Hansen, Anton 410 

Hansen, Louis 614 

Hanson, Albert 240 

Hanson, Christopher B 426 

Hanson, Erick 347 

Hanson, Gilbert 674 

Hanson, George H 352 

Hanson, Hans O 240 

Hanson, Hans P 352 

Hanson, Henry 452 

Hanson, Ole 508 

Hanson, Peter 461 

Harris, Frederick G 689 

Harrison, Ole W 148 

Harstad, Carl A 226 

Harstad, Christian L ^_270 

Hauge, Lars J. 132 

H'augen, Andrew I 500 

Haugen, Knute 149 

Hauglie, Anton 367 

Hawkins, Oliver P 298 

Hawkinson, Andrew 665 

Haywood, George H 142 

Heald, Frank H 629 

Helleckson, FI. E 77 

Hcndrickson. Henry 518 

Hengstler, William H., M. D 76 

Herbert, Frans O 318 

Hermanson, Carl 231 

Hermanson, L. G 350 

Hermanson, William 398 

Hessel, Henry 516 

Hctherington, Charles C 322 

Hicks, William E S3 

Hillmond, Hon. Herman 72 

Hintzen, John A 342 

Hintzen. Leonard 437 

Hintzen, Nicholas 344 

Hjelm, Peter M 404 

Hobart, H. B 440 

Hogstrom, John N 670 

Holing, Anton 453 

Holing, John 657 

Holm, Peter J 462 

Holt. Engebret O 539 

Holte, Christ L 475 

Hoplin, Peter 75 

Hove, James B 139 

Hove, Oluf T 433 

Howe, Byron E 365 

Hubred, Hans 560 

Hubred, Olaf M 546 

Isackson, Isack 386 

Isakson, Andrew 538 

Island, Gunerinus L. 230 

Iverson. Ole B 93 


Jeffrey, George 355 

Jensen, Peder 660 

Jensen. Theodore A 333 

Jenstad, Ole G 541 

Johnson, Hon. .\nders G— 1 483 

Johnson, Charles 414 

Johnson. Chris 91 

Johnson, Erick 395 

Johnson, Erick G 408 

Johnson, Gustav A 182 

Johnson. John C 488 


Johnson, Martin 237 

Johnson, Martin P 634 

Johnson, Mrs. Peter 332 

Johnson, Theodore 271 

Johnson, \'ictor X 412 

Julig, Charles L 252 


Kaasa, Halvor L 194 

Kellogg. Leander 4cS9 

Kent, Lewis S 144 

Kersten, H. C 654 

Kietzman. Adolph G 606 

Kietznian, Aniil R 312 

Kietzmann, .\lbert P 598 

Kinney, James .\ 272 

Kloehn, Charles 387 

Kloos, Charles B 596 

Kloos, John W 656 

King, Frederick 447 

Knutson, Torgjels 168 

Kraemcr, Michael 309 

Kreidler, George D ; 617 

Kube, Adolph G 287 

Kuchenbcckcr, Otto 199 

Knllandcr, Andrew 685 


Landecne, William E 567 

Landt, S. S 532 

Larson, A. D., M. D 605 

Larson, .-Mgot F 214 

Larson, C. H 457 

Larson, Constant 160 

Larson, Mrs. Elna 561 

Larson. Emil 636 

Larson, Erick 324 

Larson, Julius 444 

Larson, Simon 478 

Larson, Victor 346 

Leach, Hugh E 83 

Lee, Jens P 603 

Lee, Lars E 423 

Lee, Ole 302 

Lekander, Jens 648 

Leraas, Andrew L 599 

Leraas, Ole J .590 

Lel^oy, Henry A 592 

Lewis, Hon. Henry L 446 

Lien, Edward 535 

Lietz, Henry T 635 

Lillemoen, Henry G 118 

Lindem, John T 137 

Lindsey, Harvey E 248 

Lindstrom, Charles J 217 

Lindstrom, Olaf J 494 

Linnard, Carl O 401 

Long, Charles M., M. D 364 

Lorsung, Anton J 117 

Lund, Alfred O 78 

Lund, Christian A 357 

Lusty, John A 1 331 

Lynne, John M 689 

Lynne, Lars 587 


McClellan, James R 335 

McCord, Andrew L 436 

McCrea, Ezra E 566 

McFarlane, John 470 


Magnuson, A. Alfred 459 

Mahlke, Fred 637 

Malmquist, Henry A 338 

Martinson, Henry M 205 

Mathison, Math 428 

Mattson, Swen 515 

Ma.xfield, George S 81 

Mcckstroth, Charles W., M. D 163 

Meissner, Ernest 358 

Meissner, William F 155 

Meistcr, Conrad 314 

Melby, H. O 300 

Melby, K. N. O 480 

Melin. Axel 389 

Mclin, Charles 360 

Miller, Carl G 224 

Miller, Henry W 543 

Miller, Soren J 435 

Mobraaten, Torger 279 

Mollman, August 552 

Moses, William J. B 59 

Moxness, Peder 391 

Mylir, Henry O 369 

Mvhr, Peter O 405 



Xasli, Timothy V 284 

Xehls. I"rank J. E. G 103 

Xclson, Alfred 664 

Xclsoii, Algc.rt T 43S 

Xelsoii, Carl 241 

Xclson. Edward 23^ 

Xclson, Gustaf 286 

Xolson. John P 219 

Xelson, John W 628 

Xelsun. lion. Xcls E 418 

XeLson. Xolson G 349 

Xdson, Ottn 482 

\.lM.n, otio W 442 

Xrl>,.n. I\Ut J 473 

Xo>s, Christ (■ 215 

Xewhorsc, Carl J 555 

Xcwnian. E. J 499 

Xewman, Gust 277 

Xicmackl. William W .502 

Xilson. Xils 512 

Xorsrcn, John .\ 429 

Xornian. Rev. Olans 41 


Oachs. iM-ank 601 

Ohcrs, Knut - 427 

Olhekson, Hans 1 266 

Olson. Charles G 431 

Olson. Jnlins C 641 

Olson. Ole G 520 

Olson, Olof 211 

Olson, Thomas 157 

Omland, Peter T 400 

Oslund. Erick O 238 

Osterbcrg-, Arthur L 115 

Ostrom, .\aron J 140 

Otterson. Xcls M 524 


Pennie. Peter 315 

Pennock, Joseph 668 

Peterson, Carl O 280 

Peterson, Charles S 626 

Peterson, Claus 456 

Peterson, Emil 359 

Peterson, Erank .\ 545 

Peterson, Xcls 136 

Peterson. P. M 254 

I'eterson, Peter 550 

Peterson, Peter .\. 326 

Peterson, I'eter A 326 

IVterson. Peter C, 105 

Peterson. Peter J 683 

Petcrsnn, Rev. Peter T 143 

Pikop. Knut .\. 207 

Pikop. L. 11 519 

Pikop, Olaus .\ 127 

Piko]). Hon. Ole A 33 

Phtan. Gilbert J 263 

Pletan, Jens 198 

I'letan. Ole J 187 

I'owers, i'letcher W.. M. D 527 

Prestrud, C. .\. 70 


Ouast. F. E 666 

(juinn, Thomas 642 


Raines, John E 671 

Raiter, Ercd C 4.i 

Randall, .\uvignc M.. M. D 154 

Rarer. Robert F 100 

Reif. Victor M 290 

Ringdahl, Theo. 449 

Risbrudt. Edward T 366 

Ritzschke, Albert L 180 

Ritzschke, Carl 646 

Kitzschkc, Charles E 548 

Ritzsclikc, Theodore A. H 580 

Ronhovde, Mons ..-_572 

liooney, .\. A 206 

Rose, Lars . 321 

Roth, Andrew 297 

Ruggles. E. R 125 

Russell, INTarvin D 421 

Rustad, Carl O 594 

Rustand, .Andrew C.l 487 

Rustand, Mads C 153 

Rustand, Ole C 191 

Rustand, Ole K 109 

Ruud, Magnus P.., M. D 92 



Sanil. Kittil () 693 

Saiul, Ole O 239 

Sandbcrg-, John 495 

Sanford, Jasper X 631 

Sangstead, Andrew 420 

Sannes, Ole O 525 

Sanstcad, John E 371 

Saterlee, Henry I 403 

Satterlund. Ole 687 

Satire. Rev. Torbjorn A 4S 

Schaffer. .Albertiis 260 

Schelin, Charles F 471 

Schlcchter. Joseph 294 

Schmidt, William 67S 

Schmidt, William B 245 

Schoonover, Sylvan 102 

Schulz, .■\ugust 643 

Sellscth. Ole 38 

Setran, Hogan G 282 

Sheldon. W. W 134 

Shervey, Sivert 542 

Shogrcn, Carl A 209 

Shogren. Herman A 216 

Simonson, Hans 568 

Skinnemoen, John S ^ 124 

Skinnemoen, Nils S 133 

Skinnemoen, Ole S 173 

Skinnemoen. Stiner S., Jr 52 

Skoglund, Magnus 681 

Skramstad, Haakcn 227 

Skrove, Martin 463 

Sletten. K. E 607 

Sletto. Ole E 415 

Slotsve, Hans H. 557 

Smith, John 402 

Smith. Roy G 269 

Sobers, Halvor O 613 

StafFanson, Erick G 372 

Stariha. Mathcw _— 229 

Stark. Gustav -V 162 

Sfcdje. Clarence 692 

Stcidl, Nicholas A 130 

Steinach, Rev. Emil J 99 

Steinhorst. Ed 690 

Stene. C. J 171 

Stevens. George T 151 

Strand, Jens O 530 

Strandberg. John T 361 

Strang, Cassius C, D. D. S 64 

Strecd, Tcter 242 

Strom, .\nton H 381 

Stromlund, George 192 

-Suckow. Herman 392 

Sund, Engebret E 213 

Svvcnson, Carl H. 679 

Swenson, Ferdinand 121 

Svvcnson, Sven N. 256 

Swenson, Rev. Sven W 80 

Swenson. Swen 467 

Swenson, Theo E 256 

Swore, Knute 165 

Synionds, Fred H. 624 

Syverson. Lauritz 450 

Syvrud. Thomas A. 156 


Teigen, Bottol T. 108 

Thayer. Thomas M.. M. D. 111 

Thies. Nick .sa; 

Thompson, .Alfred J. 468 

Thompson, August 285 

Thompson, Gilbert J 649 

Thompson, John 638 

Thompson, Ole A. 304 

Thompson. Theo. 595 

Thorson, Lars 441 

Thorson. Thor J 422 

Thorstenson, Calmer E. 164 

Thronson. Otto C. 201 

Thronson. Thron C. 528 

Titus. John F. 268 

Tobiason. T. L. 222 

Tollefson, Bernt 311) 

Tollefson. Jens 235 

Torgerson, Mikkel 289 

Torstenson, William 650 

Treat, George L. 128 

Triese. Jacob 513 

Tripp, George 293 

Trisko, Sylvester 264 


Ulsagcr, Martin N 221 

I'nunib, Peter O. 112 

l-rness. John A. 582 

Von l-!auml);icli. Ma 


V Wcstlund, P. M. 622 

W'cttleson, Joseph H. 58 

L'denck -3-/ ^^..^1^ Martin l'. 507 

Winkjcr, G. T. 379 

W Wold, Hon. Carl .\. 60H 

Wagcnius, Samuel O 329 ^\°'f- "^^ '^ ^^^ 

Wagner, Herbert O. 54 

Walstad. -Andrew M. 320 


Wallen, Oscar J. 119 yates, W. .\. 181 

Wangsness, Syvert S. 258 


Waugh, Knute 522 

W^caver, Howard _ 299 

Weigand, Fred 621 Zelkr. Andrew 684 

Wells, A. Waters 145 Zicb^irth. \V. T. 150 

W>scn, Constant .\. 396 Zicnier. Kred 574 

Western, John O. 172 Zininul, Andrew 416 



Related State History. 

The greater part, or about two-thirds, of the territory embraced within 
the boundaries of Minnesota was inckided in the Louisiana Purchase, ceded 
to the United States by France in 1803. The remainder of this state, com- 
prising the northeastern third part, lying east of the Mississippi river, was 
included in the country surrendered from Great Britain by the treaty of 
1783, at the end of the Revolutionary War. In 1805 a grant of land nine 
miles square, at the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Peter (now Min- 
nesota) rivers, was obtained from the Sioux Indians. A military post was 
established on the grant in 18 19, and in 1820 arrangements were made for 
the erection of a fort, which was completed in 1822 and named Ft. Snelling, 
after the commanding officer, and the grant has ever since been known as 
the Ft. Snelling Reservation. In 1823 the first steamboat ascended the 
Mississippi as far as Ft. Snelling; and annually thereafter one or two trips 
of steamboats were made to this isolated post for a number of years. 

This territory was held by the Chippewa or Ojibway and the Dakota 
or Sioux Indians, but adventurous pioneers had penetrated into the coun- 
try along the streams tributary to the Mississippi river, and in 1836 Wis- 
consin territory was organized, comprising all the territory west of Lake 
Michigan, and including within its limits all the country west of the Great 
Lakes and north of Illinois, the west boundary of the territory being the 
Mississippi river. 


In 1837 two important treaties were made with the native tribes of 
Indians. The first one was made by Gov. Henry Dodge, of Wisconsin, with 
the Ojibwavs, at Ft. Snelling, on the 29th of July, of that year, whereby 



they ceded to the United States all their pine or agricultural lands on the St. 
Croix river and its tributaries. 

On the 29th of September, of the same year, at the city of Washing- 
ton, a treaty with the Sioux was made by Joel R. Poinsett, a special com- 
missioner representing the United States, and about twenty chiefs, accom- 
panied by Major Taliaferro, their agent, and Scott Campbell, an interpreter. 
Through the influence and by the direction of Governor Dodge, this delega- 
tion of chiefs had proceeded to Washington for the purpose of making this 
treaty, by which the Dakotas, or Sioux, ceded to the United States all their 
lands east of the Mississippi river and all its islands. The Indians were to 
receive as consideration for the same $110,000 in cash, to be divided among 
the mixed bloods, $90,000 in payment of debts owing by the tribes, and 
$300,000 to be invested in five per cent, stocks, the interest of which should 
be paid to them annually. 

In 1848 Wisconsin adopted a state constitution, but ignored the enab- 
ling act, and made the northern part of the western boundary of the state 
along the line of the St. Louis and Rum rivers, which was not accepted by 
the United States government, and the boundary line from the Mississippi 
river to Lake Superior became fixed, as in the enabling act, on the line of 
the St. Croix river and in a direct line to the mouth of the St. Louis river. 

After the acceptance of the Wisconsin constitution, in May, 1848, the 
territory north and west of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers being prac- 
ticaly without a government, the Hon. John Catlin, claiming to be still 
secretary and acting governor of Wisconsin territory, issued a proclama- 
tion for a special election, to elect a delegate to Congress. The election 
was held on October 30, and Hon. H. H. Sibley was chosen delegate, and 
after some delay was admitted as such into the Congress of the United 


On March 3, 1S49, Congress passed an act to establish the territorial 
government of Minnesota. It fixed the seat of government at St. Paul, 
and established the southern boundary of the territory along the north and 
west boundary line of the state of Iowa, from the Mississippi river to the 
Missouri river, the western boundary through the middle of the channel 
of the Missouri river to the moutli of the White Earth river, and up the 
middle of the channel of the White Earth river to the boundary line between 
the United States and Great Britain, the northern boundary running thence 
easterly and southeasterly on the international boundary line to Lake Super- 


ior, and the eastern boundary running thence in a straight Hne to the north- 
ermost point of the state of Wisconsin, and following the north and west 
boundary of said state down the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers to the 
place of beginning. At this time the population of the territory was mainly 
in the section east of the Mississippi river, and the settlers were almost 
entirely engaged in lumbering. The territorial government was declared 
fully organized, June i, 1849, by Hon. Alexander Ramsey, who had been 
appointed first territorial governor. The year 1848 was noted as the year 
of excitement from the discovery of gold in California, and the eyes of 
many thousands of people throughout the east were turned westward, where 
opportunities were opening for the growth of new states. Although at the 
organization of the territory there was scarcely a thousand people, within a 
year the census of 1850 gave to the territory a population of 6,077. Of this 
number, however, 1,134 residents were credited to the northernmost part of 
the territory on the Red River of the North, many of these being half- 
breds, and the early pioneers engaged in the fur trade, brought there 
through the influence of the Hudson Bay Company. 

The first territorial election was held on August i, 1849. 

The first session of the territorial Legislature commenced in St. Paul, 
September 3, 1849, during which counties were established and a code of 
laws enacted. The second session was commenced in January, 1851, at 
which time the capitol was located at St. Paul, the university at St. Anthony, 
and the state prison at Stillwater. 



In 185 1 three treaties were made with the Sioux and with the Ojibway 
bands of Indians, whereby large tracts of lands were relinquished to the 
United States. In view of the great extent of country desired, and the 
importance of the transaction, and the long continued friendship of the 
Dakota nation. President Fillmore departed from the usual mode of appoint- 
ing commissioners, and deputed the Hon. Luke Lea, the commissioner of 
Indian affairs, and Gov. Alexander Ramsey to meet the representatives of 
the Dakotas, and to conclude with them a treaty for such lands as they 
might be willing to sell. 

On the 27th of June, 185 1, Commissioner Lea arrived in St. Paul on 
the steamboat "Excelsior," and on the 29th he, in company with Governor 
Ramsey, landed at Traverse des Sioux, where the great council was to be 
held and the treaty consummated with the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands 


of Sioux. Great delay in the proceedings was caused by the non-arrival of 
certain Sioux chiefs from the upper country, and it was not until the i8th 
of July that the council convened and the preliminaries to the treaty com- 
menced. During this interval of about twenty days they all entertained 
themselves as best they could with races, dances, suppers, sham fights, and 
all sorts of fun. 

On the 1 8th of Jul}", all the chiefs having arrived, proclamation was 
made, and being convened in grand council and the pipe of peace having 
been passed around, the council was opened by an address from Governor 
Ramsey. On the 23rd of July the treaty was concluded and signed by the 
chiefs, by which they ceded to the United States all the lands claimed by 
these bands east of the Sioux Wood (or Bois des Sioux), and Big Sioux 
ri\ers and Lake Traverse to the Mississippi, excepting a reservation one 
hundred miles long by twenty miles wide, on the upper part of the Minne- 
sota river. By this treaty the Indians were to remove within two years to 
the reservation; to receive from the government, after removal $275,000, 
to enable them to settle up their affairs and to become established in their 
new home; and $30,000 was to be expended in breaking land, erecting mills 
and establishing a manual training school. They were also to receive for 
fifty years from that time, an annuity of $68,000, payable as follows : Cash, 
$40,000; civilization fund, $12,000; goods and provisions, $10,000; educa- 
tion fund, $6,000. 

About a week later, on the 29th of July, Governor Ramsey and Com- 
missioner Lea met the chiefs and leading men of the Med-ay-wakanton and 
Wah-pay-koo-tay bands of Sioux at a grand council at Mendota, to nego- 
tiate another treaty for the sale of other lands, which was concluded on the 
5th of August, being signed by sixty-four chiefs, head men and warriors. 
In the treaty these bands of Indians ceded and relinquished all their lands in 
territory of Minnesota and state of Iowa, and in consideration thereof the 
United States was to reserve for them a tract of the average width of ten 
miles on either side of the Minnesota river, and bounded on the west by the 
Tehay-tam-bay and Yellow Medicine rivers, on the east by the Little Rock 
river, and a line running due south from the mouth to the Waraju river; 
and to pay them the following sums of money: For settling debts and aid 
in removal, $220,000; for erection of buildings and opening farms, $30,000; 
civilization fund, to be paid annually, $12,000; educational fund, paid 
annually, $6,000; goods and provisions, annually, $10,000; cash, $30,000. 
The annuities were to continue for fifty years from the date of the treaty. 

These two treaties of 1851 at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota acquired 


for white settlement nearly 24,000,000 acres of the finest lands in the 
world. The cessions were mostly in Minnesota, but included about an eighth 
part, or nearly 3,000,000 acres, in the state of Iowa, between the line of the 
old "neutral ground" and the northern and western boundaries of the state. 
That tract of country, and generally all lands in Iowa, claimed by the Sioux, 
were therefore embraced in the articles of cession of both treaties. 

The Senate of the United States, on the 23rd of June, 1852, ratified the 
treaties, with amendments to each, which amendments were subsequently 
accepted by the Indians, and on the 24th of February, 1853, President Mil- 
lard Fillmore issued his proclamation accepting, ratifying and confirming 
each of the said treaties as amended. The total lands in the present state of 
Minnesota relinquished to the government by these treaties exceeded 
19,000,000 acres; and they also ceded about 1,750,000 acres in South Dakota, 
besides the tract described in Iowa. 

The third treaty of 185 1 was effected by Governor Ramsey with the 
Red Lake and Pembina bands of Ojibways at Pembina, by which they 
ceded certain territory, sixty-five miles in width by one hundred and fifty 
miles in length, intersected by the Red River of the North. This treaty 
was not ratified by the government. 

After the ratification of the treaties with the Sioux, a great wave of 
immigration set in from all the eastern states, and an era of speculation 
started which probably has never been excelled in any portion of the west. 
A census, taken in 1857, gave a population of 150,037. 


Notwithstanding there was an abundant supply of good land outside of 
the limits of the land ceded under these treaties, the adventurous spirit 
of the pioneers led many of them to settle on the extreme limits of the 
grant, and in immediate proximity to the Indian settlements. In the south- 
western portion of the state, particularly, settlements were made close to 
the boundary line of Iowa and north and west of Spirit lake. Some were 
in Iowa and some were in Minnesota, and all were within the jurisdiction 
of the Indian agent resident in the territory of Minnesota. Although the 
Indians were living on the reservation lands west of these settlements, in 
their hunting expeditions they were accustomed to return to the ceded 
lands. In a general way the Indians were civil, and committed only petty 
depredations; but their visits were at times annoying. Among the Indians 
there was a single band, under the leadership of Ink-pa-du-ta, or the Scar- 


kt Point, of about fifteen lodges, which had been for many years an inde- 
pendent band and of a thie\Tng, \-agabondish character (really outlaws from 
the Sioux nation, and not represented in the treaties of 1S51). who had 
taken possession of a strip of land nmning on both sides of the boundary 
lines of Iowa and Minnesota, and extending to the Missouri river. In 
March. 1857. a few of these Indians were hunting in the neighborhood of 
Rock river and one of them was bitten by a dog belonging to a white man. 
The dog was killed by the Indian, and in return the owner of the dog made 
an assault upon the Indian, and afterward gathered his neighbors, and they 
went to the Indian camp and disarmed them. The arms were afterward 
returned to them, and the party moved northeast arriving at the Spirit Lake 
settlement about the 6di of March, where they massacred the men and took 
four wcMnoi into captivity. Other settlements were attacked, and alto- 
gether forty-two settlers were killed. Two of the women were afterward 
rescued through the efforts of Hon. Charles E. Flandreau. then the Indian 
agents An effort was made to punish this band of savages, but all escaped 
except the eldest son of Ink-pa-du-ta. who had ventured into the camp of 
other Sioux, near the agency, and was killed in an attempt to capture him. 


In 1855 and 1856 town-site speculation became the absorbing thought, 
and when die panic of 1857 set in. Minnesota was soon in a deplorable 
condition. The demand for an extensive railroad system and a state gov- 
ernment had originated in the flush times of 1856 and 1857, and on Febru- 
arv 26. 1857, Qwigress passed an act authorizing a constitutional conven- 
tion, and granting a large amount of lands in aid of puWic schools. On 
March 3, 1857, an act of Congress was approved making a large grant of 
lands in aid of railroads. 

The election of members of the Constitutional Convention was held on 
Tune I, 1857, and the resnh was an almost equal division representing the 
Democratic and RqmUican parties. So close was this division, and there 
being some contested seats, when the convention assemtJed, on July 13, 
two distinct organizations were made, each proceeding to frame a Con- 
stitntion. but finally, by conference committees, they united in one docu- 
ment, which was submitted to a vote of the people on October 13, and was 
adc^ed almost unanimously. By this Constitution the boundaries of the 
state were changed <m the west, making the Red River of the North the 
line, up the Bois des Sioux, and thence extending along that river and 


through Lake Traverse and Big Stone lake, and by a direct south Hne to the 
north boundar}' of Iowa. 

This Constitution provided for an election of state officers at the same 
time of voting upon the adoption of the Constitution, resulting, by a close 
vote, in the election of the Democratic nominees. The first state Legisla- 
ture was convened on the 2nd of December. 1857, and continued in session 
until March 25, 1858, when a recess was taken until after the state should 
be admitted. Some doubts were raised as to the legality of the acts of 
the Legislature previous to admission by Congress. The act of admission 
was passed and approved. May 11, 1858. The Legislature again assembled 
in June, and finally adjourned. August 12, 1858. During this prolonged 
session the embryo state was without funds, and a loan of $250,000 was 
authorized; but as the acts of the Legislature before admission were some- 
what irregular, the loan could not be readily negotiated. To tide over the 
difficulty state warrants were issued in the form of bank notes, and passed 
current, with more or less discount, until the summer of 1S58, when they 
were redeemed from the proceeds of the loan consummated after the admis- 
sion of the state. 


The first Legislature worked diligently in what they considered the 
best interest of the state, and as the grant of lands by the United States 
in aid of railroads within the state had to be turned over to companies, a 
large part of the session was devoted to railroad legislation. The scheme 
of further aid to companies who might be willing to undertake the build- 
ing of railroads was originated, and was commonly denominated the "Five 
Million Loan Bill," contemplating the loan of the credit of the state, to 
that amx.unt, in such sums as would be paid upon the grading and final 
completion of certain miles of road. On a submission of this law to the 
people it was adopted by a large majoritj'. The opposition at the time of 
the vote upon this measure was ver\- bitter, and continued after bonds were 
being issued, and with the dissatisfaction arising from the small amount of 
work completed and the large amount of bonds issued, threatenings of repu- 
diation advocated by leading men in the state caused a distrust in financial 
circles and a fin.1l collapse of the whole scheme, with the foreclosure of the 
mortgages taken by the state upon the railroad lands and franchises, and 
the abandonment of all railroad construction for the time being. The total 
amount of bonds issued under this provision of the constitution was S2.275,- 
000. By the foreclosure proceedings the state acquired about 250 miles of 


graded road, the franchises of the companies and the lands, amounting to 
five million of acres, as indemnity for this issue of bonds. Notwithstanding 
the state had acquired all the rights, including the improvements of the rail- 
roa.l companies, the feeling against any settlement of the bonds was strong 
enough to secure an amendment to the constitution in i860, prohibiting the 
passage of any law levying a tax or making other provision for the pay- 
ment of the principal or interest of these bonds without having the same 
submitted to a vote of the people and adopted. 

The two years following the crash of 1857 were replete with financial 
disaster and a shrinkage of inflated values in town-sites; but the country 
was filling up with farmers, and the rich soil of the state was giving 
abundant harvests. The political contest of 1859 was bitter, and resulted in 
the Republican party carrying the state, both for state officers and the Legis- 

The census of i860 gave the state a population of 172,023. During 
this year there was great hope of a largely increased immigration into the 
county; but the political situation in the Union, starting with the opening 
of the presidential campaign of that year, soon indicated a disturbing ele- 
ment throughout the country, and distrust and depression were manifest 
on all sides which was not allayed by the result of the presidential election. 
The war period, commencing with the time of the President's proclamation 
in April, 1861, to the final close of the rebellion in 1865, did not permit any 
material growth in the state. About twenty-two thousand of her able- 
bodied citizens volunteered and were enlisted in the Union army. 


The Indian reservation set apart by the treaties of 1851, a tract twenty 
miles wide on the upper part of the Minnesota river, embracing some of 
the finest lands in the state, was becoming a barrier to settlements in 
the upper Minnesota valley. Settlers had taken lands close up to the reserva- 
tion, and there was considerable complaint that Indians were coming off 
the reservation and committing petty depredations, and the Indians had 
more or less complaints to make regarding the extortions practiced by the 
post traders. The encroachments of the whites were viewed with suspicion 
by the Indians, and sooner or later, from these causes alone, a conflict would 
probably have occurred. The War of the Rebellion, calling away so many 
of the able-bodied men of the state, left the frontier settlements almost 


defenseless, and doubtless caused the younger portion of the tribes to become 
more offensive to the settlers and more exacting in their demands. 

The lands embraced within the reservation under the treaties of 185 1 
were in the very heart of Minnesota, and, considering the forests and 
streams, were the choicest of farming lands.' The settlers on the border 
were anxiously coveting this "Garden of Eden." A sentiment was created 
throughout the state that the Indians should abandon the tribal relations 
and become civilized. To this end the head men of the Dakota nation 
were induced, in 1858, to go to Washington, under the charge of Hon. 
Joseph R. Brown, in whom they had great confidence, for the purpose of 
negotiating for the whole or a part of this reservation. Treaties were 
signed ceding the ten-mile strip on the north side of the river, upon the 
payment of $140,000, and the government provided that every head of a 
f?mily or single person over the age of twenty-one adopting a civilized 
life should secure in fee eighty acres of land. From some cause the pay- 
ments of $140,000 were never made, and there was great dissatisfaction 
on account of this treaty, among those of the tribes who were adverse to 
accepting the condition of civilization; and from the fact that there was 
no money divided among them on account of this relinquishment a bitter 
dissension arose between the older chiefs and the younger members, the 
latter claimiing that they had been robbed either by the chiefs or by the 
government, and they proposed to have the settlement, peaceful or other- 

This internal strife was augmented from year to year by the withdrawal 
of families who were willing to accept the civilization fund, the number in 
three years succeeding the treaty amounting to one hundred and sixty per- 
sons. They were, however, still annuity Indians, and claimed the right to 
be heard in the councils. The annuity Indians, all told, numbered about six 
thousand two hundred, and the annual cash payment to each person 
amounted to about fifteen dollars. The Indians were treated as wards of 
the United States. Two agencies were established, around which were 
gathered storekeepers to sell the Indians goods in anticipation of the annuity 
payments; and, usually, the annual payment was simply a settlement of 
the claims of the traders, who took the risk of furnishing the goods in 
ad\ance. That there was injustice practiced upon the Indians is doubtless 
true; probably not so great as the disaffected Indians imagined. There 
was enough, however, to make the time of the annual payment an anxious 
period, for fear of an outbreak. The failure of the government in its 
attempt to punish the Spirit Lake murderers had a tendency to create a feel- 


ing among the leaders of the rebellious spirit that if they could only unite 
the whole body of Sioux in an uprising they could make a successful attack 
upon the settlers, and perhaps regain the lands formerly held by the Indians. 
The War of the Rebellion, starting in 1861, gave renewed energy to the 
discontent. The Indians were well aware of the reverses of the Union 
forces during the first year of the war. The calls for troops were taking the 
able-bodied men from the farms, and many of the half-breeds had volun- 
teered for the army. All these conditions had a disquieting effect, and, 
added to this, in 1862 the June payment was not made; and as there was no 
satisfactory answer for the delay, the traders took advantage of the neces- 
sities of the Indians and insinuated that perhaps the government would go 
to pieces, and there would be no further payments. The missionaries endeav- 
ored to counteract these evil influences, and, with the aid of the civilized 
Indians, succeeded in averting deliberate outbreak. The delay in payment 
of annuities, however, tended to keep up the discontent, particularly among 
the younger braves, who were the hunters. Their vagabond life brought 
them into the settlements, and in contact with the whites; and their worth- 
less, lazy habits made them offensive to the families, as beggars of meals or 
money, or anything that took their fancy. 


These are, in brief, the circumstances which led up to the great mas- 
sacre of 1862, which for a short time threatened the lives of all the settlers 
on the western boundary of the state. There was no concerted action for 
the massacre, and to some extent there is an uncertainty as to why the first 
murders were committed. Four young men or boys are believed to have 
commenced the massacre, in a spirit of bravado, making a threatening 
attack first upon a family, driving them from their home, and afterward 
following them to a neighbor's house, where, after an altercation with the 
families, they killed three men and two women. These occurrences took 
place on the 17th of August, in the township of Acton, twelve miles west 
of Litchfield. Realizing that if they remained in the vicinity punishment 
would soon overtake their murderous acts, they lost no time in going back 
to camp, relating what they had done, and asking protection. A hasty 
consultation was had between two of the chiefs; they realized that the mur- 
derers must be given up, or the annuities would be stopped, and a war of 
exteimination would be inaugurated. They chose to stand by the murder- 
ers, and immediately following there was a general uprising of the entire 


Sioux bands. So swift were their movements, before any effective resistance 
could be brought against them, that about eight hundred of the settlers, 
men, women and children were murdered within a few days. The prompt 
action of the state authorities, aided by the national government, resulted 
in the capture of about 2,000 of the belligerent Indians and the withdrawal 
of the remainder beyond the boundaries of the state, into the wilds of 
Dakota. Of the captured Indians, 303 were found guilty of. murder and 
rape, and were condemned to death by a military court-martial. Of this 
number 265 were reprieved by President Lincoln, and the remainder, thirty- 
eight of the most prominent engaged in the massacre, were hung in Manka'to 
on the 26th of December, 1862. The next year the general government 
authorized an expedition against the Indians who had escaped to the Dakota 
plains, because of their constant raids in small squads on the frontiers of 
the state for the purpose of horse-stealing and marauding upon adven- 
turous settlers who might risk going back to their abandoned farms. After 
two decisive encounters, the Indians retreated beyond the Missouri river, 
and in 1864 another expedition was sent forward and a final settlement 
of the Sioux outbreak was accomplished, by a confiscation and surrender 
of the ponies and arms of most of the bands hostile to the government. 

The several tribes of Sioux Indians were engaged irt this massacre, and 
were the representatives of the tribes that had made the cession of lands 
in 1851, imder the first and second treaties of that year. Under these 
treaties the government had set aside trust funds of $2,520,000, from which 
there was paid annually the sum of $126,000. Settlers who had lost prop- 
erty urged their claims for indemnity, and Congress promptly established a 
commission to receive all claims and investigate the facts. The commis- 
sion was dujy organized and established headquarters in the city of St. Paul, 
and carefully examined all the claims presented. The total number filed 
was 2,940, with damages amounting to $2,458,795.16. The commission 
allowed 2,635 claims, and cut down the damages to $1,370,374. By act of 
Congress these claims were paid, and the annuities and all further pay- 
ments to the tribes were stopped. The state was also reimbursed for extra- 
ordinary expenses incurred during the period of insurrection. 

On the 2nd of October, 1863, a treaty was concluded at the old cross- 
ing of Red Lake river, about twelve miles east of the present city of 
Crookston by Alexander Ramsey and Ashley C. Morrill, and the chiefs 
and head men of the Red Lake and Pembina bands of Ojibway Indians, 
for the cession of a large tract of country, being the same land embraced 
in one of the treaties of 1851, but not ratified at that time, of which the 


boundaries are as follow : Commencing at the intersection of the national 
boundary with the Lake of the \\^oods; thence in a southwest direction to 
the head of Thief river; thence following that stream to its mouth; thence 
southeasterly in a direct line toward the head of Wild Rice river; and thence 
following the boundary of the Pillager cession of 1855 to the mouth of said 
river; thence up the channel of the Red river to the mouth of the Cheyenne; 
thence up said river to Stump lake, near the eastern extremity of Devil's 
lake; thence north to the international boundary; and thence east on 
said boundary to the place of beginning. It embraced all of the Red River 
valley in [Minnesota and Dakota, except a small portion previously ceded, 
and was estimated to contain 11,000,000 acres. This treaty was ratified by 
the Senate, with amendments, March i, 1864. The Indians, on the 12th of 
April, 1864, assented to the amendments, and President Lincoln, by his 
proclamation of the 5th of May, 1864, confirmed the treaty. 


The close of the Civil \\'ar in the spring of 1865, and the return of the 
SQldiers, and the assurance of no further depredations from the Sioux 
Indians, started a new era of prosperity and rapid growth. The Legislature, 
in the meantime, had granted charters on the foreclosed roadbeds and lands 
to new railroad companies, and the construction of roads was furnishing 
abundant labor to all who were coming to the state. The population at 
this time was 250,099, and in 1870 the ppoulation had increased to 439,706, 
nearly doubling in five years. The railroad companies had within the same 
period constructed nearly 1,000 miles of railroad, and continued their build- 
ing with even greater vigor until the financial crisis of 1873 brought all pub- 
lic enterprises again to a stand, and produced stagnation in all the growing 
towns. The farmers had been active in developing the country, and were 
adding largely to the productions of the state when the grasshopper raids, 
for the time being, destroyed the growing crops, and caused great financial 
distress for two or three years. 

The census of 1875 gave the state a population of 597,407, still showing 
a fair increase, but small in comparison with the five years following the 
close of the rebellion. By 1878 the state had fairly recovered from the 
financial crash of 1873, but speculation has at no time since 1878 been so 
reckless as during the two periods ending in 1857 and 1873. 

.-\long with the prosperity of the state, caused so largely by the rapid 
railroad building, the state pride began to assert itself with more force, 


and the prominent citizens continued to urge an adjustment of the dis- 
honored railroad bonds. In 1877 a proposition setting aside the proceeds 
of 500,000 acres for internal improvement lands in settlement was by act 
of the Legislature submitted to a vote at a special election called for the 
I2th of June, and was voted down by the decisive vote of 59,176 against 
to 17,324 votes for, the proposition. This vote was largely owing to the 
fact that the state at that time had almost an entire new population that 
had come into the state long after the bonds were issued and had no definite 
knowledge of the history of the original indebtedness. 

In 1881 the Legislature enacted a law providing for the adjustment of 
these bonds and designating the judges of the supreme court as a com- 
mission to make the settlement. The constitutionality of this law was 
questioned, a writ of injunction was served, and the final determination of 
the supreme bench was that the law was unconstitutional, as also the 
amendment of i860, prohibiting any settlement without a vote of the people. 
This latter act had previously been determined unconstitutional by the 
supreme court of the United States. An extra session of the Legislature 
was called in October of the same year, when the final adjustment was 
authorized by act of the Legislature, on a basis of fifty per cent, of the 
amount nominally due, and, after a careful examination of all the claims 
presented, the bond question was forever set at rest by the issue of adjust- 
ment bonds, to the amount of $4,282,000, to parties entitled to receive 
them. For the payment of these bonds the proposition of setting aside 
the proceeds of the 500,000 acres of internal improvement lands was again 
submitted to the general election in 1881, and by a vote of 82,435 votes in 
favor, and 24,526 votes against, the action of the Legislature was ratified 
and the stigma of repudiation removed, which had been fastened upon the 
state by the popular vote of 1877. 

In 1880 the national census gave the state a population of 780,773, and 
the state census of 1885 swelled these figures to 1,117,798, indicating the 
extraordinary growth of forty-three per cent. ; but an examination of the 
figures shows that the growth was mainly confined to the cities, being nearly 
eighty per cent, of increase, while in the farming community and small 
towns the percentage of increase was only twenty per cent. 

During the ten years between 1880 and 1890 there was a period of 
great activity in the railroad building, and 2,310 miles of road were put in 
operation. This alone gave great energy to the business of the state, and 
caused a large increase in the population of the cities, and gradually cul- 
minated in a most extravagant real estate boom, and an era of the wildest 


speculation. In the country the growth was normal over the entire state, 
although large numbers of farmers in the southern half of the state were 
attracted to the plains of Dakota, where great activity was being developed 
by the pushing of railroads into different sections of the territory. 


The settlement of the Dakotas and the consequent breaking up of the 
virgin land, after the vear 1885, almost doubled the wheat yield of the north- 
westerii states, so that the farmers of Minnesota were soon confronted 
with the question whether wheat should continue to be their leading staple. 
In the southern part of the state the wheat return was not enough per acre 
to yield any profit to the farmer at the reduced prices ; and gradually meth- 
ods have changed, so that the leading agricultural industries now include 
dairying, stock raising, and general diversified farming. It seems probable 
that Minnesota will hold her place as the greatest wheat-producing state, 
and will also earn a greater reputation as the best all-round farming state 
in the Union. 

'J"he national census of 1890 gave the state a population of 1,301,826, 
an increase of 184,028 in five years, of which amount about 70,000 increase 
went to the cities and 114,000 to the country districts, showing eighteen per 
cent, increase in the cities and fifteen per cent, increase in the country. The 
state census of 1895 showed an increase of 272,793, or 21.95 P^r cent., in the 
preceding five years, giving a total population of 1,574,619. 

According to the census of 1910 the population of Minnesota was 
2,075,708, showing an increase of 17.8 per cent, during the preceding 
decade. The population of the five largest cities was as follow: Minnea- 
poli.s, 301,408; St.' Paul, 214,744: Duluth, 78,466; Winona, 18,583; and 
Stillwater 10,198. 

Minnesota was the first state of the Union to respond to the call of 
the President for volunteers at the beginning of the war with Spain, in 
April, i8g8. Three regiments, designated as the Twelfth, Thirteenth and 
Fourteenth Regiments of Minnesota Volunteers, were mobilized at St. Paul, 
.^pril 29, and were mustered into the United State service on May 7 and 8. 
The Fifteenth Regiment was mustered into sen-ice on July 18. In total 
tin's state furnished 5.315 ofiicers and enlisted men for the volunteer army. 
.At the close of the w-ar the Twelfth and Fourteenth Regiments returned to 
Minnesota, and were mustered out of service in November. The Fifteenth 
Regiment continued in service until March 27, 1899; and the Thirteenth 


Regiment, after more than a year of service in the Philippine Islands, was 
mustered out on October 3, 1899. 

Minnesota derives its name from the river which was named "Minisota" 
by the Dakotas, pronounced "Min-nee-sotah," apphed to the stream, in its 
natural state in the summer season, after the waters were cleared from the 
roiling caused by the spring floods. Mini, water; sotah, sky-colored. 
Apparently to secure the correct pronunciation in English letters, the con- 
vention called at Stillwater, in 1848, for the purpose of procuring a terri- 
torial organization, instructed their delegates to see that the name of the 
territory should be written Min-ne-sota. 


Geographically, Minnesota occupies the exact center of the continent 
of North .\merica, midway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and also 
midway between Hudson bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This state is bounded 
on the south by Iowa, on the west by South and North Dakota, on the north 
by Manitoba and Ontario, and on the east by Wisconsin. It extends from 
latitude 43 degrees 30 minutes, to 49 degrees 24 minutes, and from 89 
degrees 29 minutes, to 97 degrees 15 minutes, west longitude. From its 
southern boundary to the northern is about 400 miles, and from its most 
eastern to the extreme western point about 354 miles. 

Minnesota is, in area, the tenth state of the Union. It contains 84,287 
square miles, or about .53,943,379 acres, of which 3,608,012 acres are water. 
In altitude it appears to be one of the highest portions of the continent, as 
the headwaters of three great river systems are found in its limits, those 
of streams flowing northward to Hudson bay, eastward to the Atlantic ocean, 
and southward to the Gulf of Mexico. 

About half of this surface, on the south and west, consists of rolling 
prairie, interspersed with frequent groves, oak openings and belts of hard- 
wood timber, watered by numberless lakes and streams, and covered with a 
warm, dark soil of great fertility. The rest, embracing the elevated district 
immediately west and north of Lake Superior, consists mainly of rich min- 


eral ranges and of the pine forests which clothe the headwaters of the Mis- 
sissippi, affording extensive supphes of lumber. There is but a very small 
percentage of broken, rocky or worthless land in the state. Nearly all is 

Numerous rivers and watercourses give the state excellent drainage. 
But few states are so well watered as Minnesota. Its navigable rivers are 
the Mississippi, the Minnesota, the St. Croix, the St. Louis, the Red River 
of the North, and the Red Lake river, all of which, near their sources, have 
extensive water powers; while a number of smaller streams such as Rum 
river and Snake river, both valuable for lumbering, the Cannon and Zumbro 
rivers, the Vermilion, Crow, Blue Earth, Des Moines, Cottonwood, Chip- 
pewa, LeSueur, Root, Elk and Sauk rivers, also furnish fine water powers. 
These with their tributaries and a host of lesser streams penetrate every por- 
tion of the state. Some of the water powers furnished by these streams 
are among the finest in America, and many of them have been utilized for 
manufacturing purposes. 


The lakes of Minnesota are more numerous and varied in form than in 
any other state in the Union. Bordering on the northeast corner' of the 
state for one hundred and fifty miles, the waters of the great Lake Superior 
wash its shores. Within the state there are about ten thousand lakes, the 
largest of which is Red lake, in the central northern part of the state, bor- 
dering partly by dense pine forests, with its overflow through Red Lake 
river, by a devious course, into the Red River of the North. On the same 
northern slope, in St. Louis county, is the beautiful Vermilion lake, with its 
tributaries, at the edge of the great Vermilion iron range, and flowing into 
Rainy lake, on the northern boundary, and then through Rainy Lake river 
into the Lake of the Woods, and thence into Lake Winnipeg, and finally 
into Hudson bay. On the southern slope of the state is Itasca lake, the 
source of the Mississippi, with Cass lake. Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech lake, 
and other innumerable lakes, all adding volume to the water of the Mississippi, 
eventually flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. Then there is Mille Lacs, the 
source of Rum river, and the picturesque Lake Minnetonka. These are the 
largest lakes in the state. Of these, however, only Minnetonka, White Bear, 
Bald Eagle and Chisago lakes have so far been much utilized as summer 
resorts. The incomparable park region, traversed by the Great Northern 


and Northern Pacific railroads, is the paradise of summer idlers, of hunters 
and fishermen; but it is not in this portion alone that all the beautiful lakes 
are found. The northeastern and the southwestern sections each have 
numerous lakes to attract the summer visitor. 

There is an undoubted modification of the climate of the state, caused 
by 'these numerous bodies of water, giving a most delightful summer tem- 

Fine varieties of fish are abundant in all these lakes; and the state 
expends annually thousands of dollars, through a game and fish commission, 
to improve the varieties and to prevent their wanton destruction. 


Surveys with leveling from the sea show that the shore of Lake Supe- 
rior is the lowest land in the state, 602 feet above sea level. The waters 
of the northeastern part of the state south of the Mesabi iron range flow 
into Lake Superior, and are carried to the Atlantic ocean. The Mississippi 
river, having its chief source in Lake Itasca, at 1,466 feet elevation, runs in 
a southerly direction, leaving the state at 620 feet above sea level. 

The Red River of the North, rising in the north, near Itasca lake, at 
a height of 1,600 feet above the ocean, after a circuitous route south and 
west to Breckenridge, in Wilkin county, and then flowing north along its 
great valley, leaves the state at an elevation of 750 feet. The average 
elevation of the state is given at about 1,275 feet. The highest elevation is 
the Misquah hills, in Cook county, 2,230 feet. 

The elevation of Minnesota above the sea, its fine drainage, and the 
dryness of the atmosphere give it a climate of unusual salubrity and pleas- 
antness. It has an annual mean temperature of 44 degrees, while its mean 
summer temperature is 70 degrees, the same as that of middle Illinois and 
Ohio, southern Pennsylvania, etc. The excessive heats of summer often felt 
in other states are here tempered by the cooling breezes. Its high latitude 
gives it correspondingly longer days in summer than states further south, 
and during the growing season there are two and one-half hours more sun- 
shine than in the latitude of Cincinnati. This, taken in connection with 
the abundant rainfall of earlv summer, accounts for the rapid and vigorous 



growth of crops in Minnesota, and their early maturity. The cool breezes 
and cool nights in summer prevent the debilitating effects of heat often felt 
in low latitudes. The winter climate is one of the attractive features of the 
state. Its uniformity, and prevailing freedom from thaws and excessive 
spells of cold, severe weather or heavy snow storms, and its dryness, together 
with the bright sunshine and electrical condition of the air, all tend to enhance 
the personal comfort of the resident, and make outdoor life and labor a 

These features tend to make this climate the healthiest in the Union. 
It gives life and briskness to those performing manual labor, enabling them 
to do more work than in a damper or duller climate. 


In the following list some of the more important events in the state, 
from the earliest explorations to the present time, are set forth in chronolo- 
gical order: 

1635. Jean Nicollet, an explorer from France, who had wintered in the 
neighborhood of Green Bay, brought to Montreal the first 
mention of the aborigines of Minnesota. 
1659-60. Grosseilliers and Radisson wintered among the Sioux of the Mille 
Lacs region, Minnesota, being its first white explorers. In a 
previous expedition, four years earlier, they are thought to 
have come to Prairie Island, west of the main channel of the 
Mississippi, between Red Wing and Hastings. 
1661 Father Rene Menard left Kewennaw, on Lake Superior, to visit the 
Hurons, then in northern Wisconsin, and was lost near the 
sources of the Black and Chippewa rivers. His breviary and 
cassock were said to have been found among the Sioux. 
1679. July 2, Daniel Greyselon Du Lhut (Duluth) held a council with the 
Sioux at their principal settlement on the shore of Mille Lacs. 
Du Lhut, in June, 1680, by way of the St. Croix river, reached 
the Mississippi and met Hennepin. 
1680 Louis Hennepin, after captivity in the village of Mille Lacs Sioux, 

first saw the Falls of St. Anthony. 
1689 May 8, Nicholas Perrot, at his Ft., St. Antoine, on the Wisconsin 
shore of Lake Pepin, laid formal claim to the surrounding 
country for France. He built a fort also on the Minnesota 
shore of this lake, near its outlet. 


1095. LeSueur built a fort or trading post on Isle Pelee, now called Prairie 
Island, above Lake Pepin. 

1700. LeSueur established Ft. L'Huillier, on the Blue Earth river (near 
the mouth of the LeSueur), and first supplied the Sioux with 

1727 The French established a third fort on Lake Pepin, with Sieur de 
La Perriere as commander. 

1728. Great flood in the Mississippi. 

1763 By the treaty of Versailles, France ceded Minnesota, east of the 
Mississippi, to England, and west of it to Spain. 

1766 Capt. Jonathan Carver visited St. Anthony falls and Minnesota 
river. He claimed to have made a treaty with the Indians 
the following spring, in a cave afterward called "Carver's 
Cave," within the present limits of St. Paul, at which he said 
they ceded to him an immense tract of land, long known as 
"Carver's Claim," but never recognized by the government. 

1796. Laws of the Ordinance of 1787 extended over the Northwest terri- 
tory, including the northeastern third of Minnesota, east of 
the Mississippi river. 

1798-99. The Northwestern Fur Company established itself in Minnesota. 

1800. May 7, that part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi became a part 
of Indiana by the division of Ohio. 

1803. April 30, that part of Minnesota west of the Mississippi, for the 
preceding forty years to possession of Spain as a part of Louis- 
iana, was ceded to the United States by Napoleon Bonaparte, 
who had just obtained it from Spain. 

1803-04. W'illiam Morrison, the first known white man to discover the 
source of the Mississippi river, visited Elk lake and explored 
the streams entering into the lake forming the head of the 

1805. Lieut. Z. M. Pike visited Minnesota to establish government rela- 
tions there, and obtained the Ft. Snelling reservation from 
the Dakotas. 

1812. The Dakotas, Ojibways and Winnebagoes, under the lead of hostile 
traders, joined the British during the war. Red river colony 
established by Lord Selkirk. 

1819. Minnesota, east of the Mississippi river, became a part of Crawford 
county, Michigan. Ft. Snelling established, and a post at 
Mendota occupied by troops, under command of Col. 


Leavenworth. Maj. L. Taliaferro appointed Indian agent, 
arriving on April 19. 

1820. Corner stone of Ft. Snelling laid on September 10. Governor Cass 
visits Minnesota and makes a treaty of peace between the 
.Siotix and Ojibways at Ft. Snelling. Col. Josiah Snelling 
appointed to the command of the latter post. 

1823. The first steamboat arrived at Mendota, May 10, Major Taliaferro 
and Beltrami being passengers. Maj. Stephen H. Long 
explored Minnesota river, the Red river valley, and the north- 
ern frontier. Beltrami explored sources of the Mississippi. 

1826 Great flood on the .Red river; a part of the colony driven to Minne- 
sota, settling near Ft. Snelling. 

1832. Schoolcraft explored sources of Mississippi river, and named Lake 
Itasca (formerly called Elk lake). 

1833 First mission established at Leech lake by Rev. W. T. Boutwell. 

1834. The portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi attached to Michi- 

gan. Gen. H. H. Sibley settled at Mendota. 

1835. Catlin and Featherstonhaugh visited Minnesota. 

1836. The territory of Wisconsin organized, embracing the part of Minne- 

sota east of the Mississippi, the part on the west being attached 
to Iowa. Nicollet visited Minnesota. 
1837 Governor Dodge, of Wisconsin, made a treaty at Ft. Snelling with 
the Ojibways, by which the latter ceded all their pine lands 
on the St. Croix and its tributaries ; a treaty was also effected 
at Washington with a deputation of Dakotas for their lands 
east of the Mississippi. These treaties led the way to the first 
actual settlements within the area of Minnesota. 

1838. The treaty ratified by Congress. Franklin Steele makes a claim at 

St. Anthony falls. Pierre Parrant makes a claim and builds 
a shanty on the present site of St. Paul. 

1839. St. Croix county established. 
1843. Stillwater settled. 

1846. August 6, the Wisconsin enabling act. 

1847. The Wisconsin Constitutional Convention meets. The town of St. 

Paul surveyed, platted and recorded in St. Croix county regis- 
ter of deeds' office. First improvement of the water power 
at the Falls of St. Anthony. 

1848. May 29, Wisconsin admitted, leaving the area of Minnesota without 

a government. August 26, the "Stillwater Convention" held, 


taking measures for a separate territorial organization, and 
asking that the new territory be named Minnesota. October 
30, H. H. Sibley elected delegate to Congress. 

1849. January 15, H. H. Sibley admitted to a seat. March 3, the bill 

organizing Minnesota passed. March 19, its territorial officers 
appointed. June i, Governor Ramsey declared, by proclama- 
tion, the territory organized. September 3, the first terri- 
torial Legislature assembled. 

1850. Great flood this year; highest water ever known. Minnesota river 

first navigated by steamboats. Census shows 6,077 inhabi- 

1851. Location of the capitol, university and penitentiary; another flood. 

July 23, treaty of Traverse des Sioux completed and August 
5 the treaty of Mendota, opening the territory west of the 
Mississippi to settlers. 

1852. June 23, the treaties ratified by the United States Senate. 

1853. Pierce's administration. W. A. Gorman appointed governor. The 

capitol building completed. 

1854. Celebration of the opening of the Rock Island railroad, the first road 

to the Mississippi river, by a mammoth excursion, reaching 
St. Paul, June 8. Large immigration this season and the 
three succeeding- ones, and the real estate mania commences. 

1857. Enabling act passes Congress, February 26. Gov. Samuel Medary 

(appointed by Buchanan), arrives on April 22. Legislature 
passes a bill to remove the capital to St. Peter, but it fails to 
accomplish the object. Ink-pa-du-to massacre, April. Land 
grant passes Congress. April 27, extra session of the Legis- 
lature to apportion land grant. July 13, Constitutional Con- 
vention assembles. Real estate speculation reaches its height, 
and is checked by the financial panic, August 27. Great 
revulsions and hard times. Census shows 150,037 population. 
October 13, Constitution adopted and state officers elected. 

1858. State loan of $250,000 negotiated. Five million loan bill passed by 

the Legislature, March 9; ratified by vote of the people, April 
15. Great stringency in money market. State admitted, May 
II. State officers sworn in, May 24. 

1859. Hard times continue to intensify. "Wright County War." "Glen- 

coe"' and "Owatonna" money issued. Work on the land 
grant rnad ceases. Collapse of the five million scheme. First 


export of grain this fall. Hard political struggle; the Repub- 
licans triumph. 
i860. Another warm political canvass Federal census, 172,023. 

1861. April 15, President proclamation for troops received; the first regi- 

ment recruits at once; June 22, it embarks at Ft. Snelling for 
the seat of war. 

1862. Call for 600,000 men. August 17, massacre at Acton; August 18, 

outbreak at Lower Sioux Agency, eight miles east of Red- 
wood Falls; 19th, New Ulm attacked; 20th, Fort Ridgely 
attacked; 25th, second attack on New Ulm; 30th, Fort Aber- 
crombie besieged; September 2d, the bloody attack at Birch 
Coulee. September 19, first railroad in Minnesota in opera-' 
tion, between St. Paul and Minneapolis. September 23, bat- 
tle of Wood Lake; 26th, captives surrendered at Camp 
Release; military commission tries 321 Indians for murder, 
rape, etc.; 303 condemned to die; December 26, 38 hung at 

1863. General Sibley's expedition to the Missouri river; July 3, Little 

Crow killed; July 24, battle of Big Mound; July 26, battle of 
Dead Bufifalo Lake ; July 28, battle of Stony Lake. 

1864. Large levies for troops. Expedition to Missouri river, under Sully. 

Inflation of money market. Occasional Indian raids. 

1865. Peace returns. Minnesota regiments return and are disbanded. In 

all 22,016 troops furnished by the state. Census shows 
250,099 inhabitants. 

1866-72 Rapid railroad building everywhere; immigration heavy; "good 
times" prevail, and the real estate inflated. 

1873. January 7, 8 and 9, polar wave sweeps over the state; seventy per- 
sons perish. September, the Jay Cook failure creates another 
panic. Grasshopper raid begins and continues five seasons. 

1876. September 7, attack on bank at Northfield by a gang of armed 

outlaws from Missouri; three of the latter killed and three 

1877. Biennial session amendment adopted. 

1878. May 2, three flouring-mills at Minneapolis explode; eighteen lives 

1880. November 15, portion of the hospital for the insane at St. Peter 
destroyed by fire; eighteen inmates burned to death, seven 


died subsequently of injuries and fright, and six missing; total 

loss, $150,000. 
1881. March i, the state capitol destroyed by fire. 
1884. January 25, state prison partially burned. 
1886 April 14, a tornado strikes the cities of St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids, 

demolishing scores of buildings and killing about seventy 

1887. Important legislation regarding the liquor traffic, common carriers, 

and elections. 

1889. The Legislature enacts the Australian system of voting in cities of 

10,000 and over. The first electric street railway started in 
the state at Stillwater. 

1890. United States census shows a population of 1,301,826. July 13, an 

excursion steamboat returning from Lake City encampment 
foundered on Lake Pepin, and 100 people drowned. July 
13, tornado swept across Lake Gervias, in Ramsey county, 
demolishing several buildings and kilHng six people. 
1891 June 15, a series of tornadoes started in Jackson county, near the 
town of Jackson, traversing Martin, Faribault, Freeborn, 
Mower and Fillmore counties, on a line nearly parallel with, 
but from five to fifteen miles north of, the Southern Minnesota 
division of the Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, doing a large 
amount of damage to farms and farm buildings, and causing 
the death to about fifty people along the track of the storm. 

1892. June 7, Republican national convention held at Minneapolis. The 

Australian system of voting used at the November general 

1893. The Legislature authorizes the appointment of a capitol commission 

to select a site for a new capitol, and providing a tax of two- 
tenths of a mill for ten years to pay for the site and the 
erection of a building. A great financial crisis causes the 
failure of several banks and many mercantile and manufactur- 
ing establishments in the larger cities of the state. 

1894. September i. forest fires start in the neighborhood of Hinckley, in 

Pine county, carrying death and destruction over nearly four 
hundred square miles of territory, destroying the towns of 
Hinckley and Sandstone, causing the death of 417 people, 
rendering homeless and destitute 2,200 men, women and chil- 
dren, and entailing a property loss of about $1,000,000. 


1895. A census of the state was taken during the month of June, and the 

total population of the state was found to be 1,574,619. 

1896. The Red Lake Indian reservation was diminished to about a quarter 

part of its former area, and on May 15 a large tract of agri- 
cultural and timber lands formerly belonging to that reserva- 
tion was opened for settlement. 

1897. July 2, the monument at Gettysburg to the First Minnesota Regi- 

ment was dedicated. 

1898. July 27, the corner stone of the new capitol was laid. Minnesota 

supplied four regiments for service in the Spanish-American 
War, being the first state. May 7, to respond to the president's 
call. October 5, the Pillager Indians attacked United States 
troops near Sugar Point, Leech lake. 

1899. Semi-centennial of the territory and state celebrated by the Old Set- 

tlers' Association, June i, and by the Historical Society, 
November 15. 

1900. Population of Minnesota, shown by the national census, 1,751,394. 

Death of Senator C. K. Davis, November 27. 

190 1. In the Pan-American Exposition, at Buffalo, New York, the superior 

exhibits of wheat, flour, and daii-y products of Minnesota- 
caused her to be called "the Bread and Butter State." 

1902. August 23, the fortieth anniversary of the Sioux War celebrated at 

New Ulm. Monuments and tablets erected there and at other 
places in the Minnesota valley. 

1903. Tide of immigration into Minnesota, particularly in northern and 

western sections. April 22, death of Alexander Ramsey, first 
territorial governor, later governor of the state, United States 
senator, and secretary of war. 

1904. Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Minnesota exhibits win many first 

prizes for flour, butter, fruits, iron ores, work of pupils in 
schools, etc. 

1905. January 3, Legislature convenes in the new capitol. The population, 

according to the state census, June i, was 1,979,912. 

1906. September 3, live stock amphitheater on the state fair ground dedi- 

cated, with address by James J. Hill. Attendance at the fair 
on that day, 93,199; during the week, 295,000. 

1907. Folwell Hall, the new main building for the College of Science, 

Literature and Arts, of the University of Minnesota, com- 
pleted at cost of $410,000 for the building and its equipment. 


The total number of students of this University enrolled in 
all departments for the year was 4,145. 

1908. The fiftieth anniversary of the admission of Minnesota to statehood 

was celebrated in connection with the state fair, its attendance 
during the week being 326,753. 

1909. Death of Gov. John A. Johnson as the result of an operation, at 

Rochester. Minnesota, September 21, 1909. Lieut.-Gov. 
Adolph O. Eberhart sworn in as governor by Chief Justice 
Start, in the Supreme Court retiring room, at 11 o'clock the 
same day. 

1910. Population of Minnesota, shown by the national census, 2,075,708; 

Death of State Treasurer Clarence C. Dinehart, June 8. E. 
S. Pettijohn appointed to succeed, June it. Forest fires in 
northern Minnesota during the second and third week in Octo- 
ber, results in death to about thirty people and the destruc- 
tion of about $20,000,000 of property. .Spooner and Baudette 
wiped out. 

1911. The Legislature ratified the proposed amendment to the United States 

Constitution for election of United States senators by popular 
\ote. October 18, George E. Vincent was inaugurated presi- 
dent of the University of Minnesota. 

1912. The Legislature in special .session enacted a new primary election 

law and "corrupt practices" act. October ig, the statue of 
Governor Johnson on the capitol ground was unveiled. 

1913. June 16-20, the American Medical Association held its sixty-fourth 

annual session in Minneapoli? United States postal savings 
bank and parcel post inaugurated in Minnesota. Practical reforms 
in state road laws enacted. Work begun on the new building 
of the St. Paul Public Library and Hill Reference Library. New 
postoffice and new railroad depot building in Minneapolis. 
November 5. the historic Carver's cave, all trace of which had 
been lost for forty years or more, was definitely located. 

1914. March. Minneapolis made the reserve city in the Northwest for the 

system of regional national banks. Remarkable impetus to 
building operations in Minnesota cities. April 4. Frederick 
Weyerhauser, extensive lumber operator, died in his winter home 
at Pasadena, California. April 15. plans adopted for St. Paul's 
new terminals aiid union depot. May 9. a bronze statue of Gen. 
James Shields, tendered by the Loyal Legion and the Grand Army 


of the Republic to the state of Minnesota, for a niche in the 
capitol. Unveiled in November; formally presented to the state 
by Commander Samuel Appleton, of the Loyal Legion; accepted 
by Governor A. O. Everhart; eloquent memorial address by 
Comrade and Companion John Ireland, archbishop. July 4-11, 
the National Educational Association held its annual convention 
in St. Paul. November. Winfield Scott Hammond, Democrat, 
elected governor of Minnesota, defeating William E. Lee, Repub- 
lican nominee. 

1915. January 2, session of the thirty-ninth Legislature opened at the state 

capitol; Hon. J. A. A. Burnquist, lieutenant-governor, president 
of the Senate; H. H. Flower, speaker of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. January 3, Winfield Scott Hammond inaugurated 
governor of Minnesota. February 12, birthday of Abraham 
Lincoln observed by Minnesota Commandery of the Loyal Leg- 
ion by a banquet at the West hotel, Minneapolis. Oration by 
Bishop William A. Quayle, of the Methodist Episcopal church. 
February 19-20, forty-ninth annual convention of the Minnesota 
Editorial Association assembled at the St. Paul hotel, St. Paul, 
President H. C. HotaHng, presiding. December 30, death of 
Governor Hammond. December 31, Lieutenant-Governor Burn- 
quist assumed the office of governor. 

1916. February, discovery of discrepancies in the office of Walter J. Smith 

treasurer of the state, and his subsequent resignation. 


Geology of Douglas County. 

Douglas county lies in the west part of central Minnesota, about half 
way between the Mississippi river and Lakes Traverse and Big Stone. 
Alexandria, the county seat and largest town, is about one hundred and 
twenty miles west-northwest from St. Paul and Minneapolis. The county 
has a length of five townships, or thirty miles, from east to west, and a 
width of four townships, or twenty-four miles, from north to south. Doug- 
las county contains about 722.66 square miles, or 462,500.62 acres, of 
which about sixty thousand acres are covered with water. 


Natural Drainage. The county is included wholly within the basin of 
the Mississippi river; but about half of it sends its waters to the Mississippi 
river by way of the Minnesota river. The Long Prairie river, tributary 
to the Crow Wing, drains the northeastern and central portions of Douglas 
county, having its sources in lakes Miltona, Ida, Carlos, Le Homme Dieu, 
and others. Osakis lake, on the east line of Douglas county, is the head 
of the Sauk river. The west part of this county is drained by the Chippewa 
river, excepting its northwest corner, where Lake Christina lies within 
the basin of the Pomme de Terre river. Lakes of large and small size 
abound in the county, especially in the region within ten or fifteen miles 
around Alexandria. The most notable have been described as follows by 
Rev. C. M. Terry: 

"The lakes of Douglas county are unsurpassed for the purity of their 
waters, the beauty of their scenery and general attractiveness. There is a 
large number of them, as a glance at the map will show, but it is not 
the number so much as it is their beauty and variety which impresses anj^one 
who studies them in detail. 

"In the eastern half of Douglas county there is a chain of lakes remark- 
able for their purity, depth and beauty. They are all connected and lie 
within a radius of a dozen miles from Alexandria. Beginning with the 
most northern and highest of the chain, they are Irene, Miltona. Ida. Louise, 


Alill, Andrews. ^Fary. Lobster, Fish, Latoka, Cowdrey. Darling. Union, 
Childs, X'icturia. Geneva, Le Homme Dieu, Carlos. 

"Lake ^liltona is the largest of the chain. It has an area of about nine 
square miles. It is six to seven miles long from east to west, and about two 
miles wide. It has two inlets, one at the eastern extremity and another 
at the northwestern. Its outlet on the southeastern side discharges into 
Lake Ida. The lake has an elevation above the sea of a trifle over fourteen 
hundred feet. Its shores in man}- places are bold and rise abruptly twenty 
to forty feet above the water. They are covered with forests except in a 
few places. The Leaf hills to the north, dun and hazy in the distance, are 
seen from the center of the lake. There are large areas of the lake which 
are shallow, and the bottom is covered with a dense growth of aquatic 
plants. Although a number of soundings were taken in different parts of 
the lake, only one place of considerable depth was found where the line 
showed eighty feet of water; this was a little south of the center. Other 
parts showed thirty to fifty feet, but the majority of soundings gave fourteen 
to twenty-five feet. Ow'ing to the amount of vegetation growing, the water 
is not as free from foreign matter as some lakes. It is, however, clear, 
sparkling, with no tinge of yellow. There are some fine springs on the 
shores of this lake ; and some stately forest trees, sugar maple, elm and 
basswood, flourish. 

"Next in size and order is Lake Ida. It is four and one-half miles 
long and one to one and a half miles wide. It has an area of about five 
square miles. It lies east of the central drift ridge, which divides the waters 
of the county. The surrounding country is massively rolling drift, and on 
the eastern side is well timbered. The water is very pure and crystalline. 
The shores are strewn with pebbles and small sub-angular boulders. There 
are very few reeds and bushes. The temperature of this lake on the i6th of 
August was 73 degrees F., surface: and 8i degrees F., air. The inlet of 
Lake Ida is at the northern end, where it recei\"es the surplus water of Lake 
]\liltnna. Tlie outlet is at the siiutheast corner, whence it flows south. 

"The charming little Lake Latoka is only two miles from Alexandria. 
It is abinit one and one-half miles long and half a mile wide. It lies in a 
deep and quite uniform basin. It has average depth of fifty feet, the great- 
est being eighty feet. The bluffs around the north end at the outlet are 
from two to thirty feet high. The soil is sand and gravel, including some 
boulders. The water is remarkably pure and of a deep Ixittle-green color. 
The surrounding country is covered with forest. 

"Lake Cowdrev, a few rods north of Latoka, is smaller in area but a 


\-ery pretty lake. Here the .surplus waters from some twelve or fourteen 
other lakes combine and send a deep, strong current north to Lake Darling. 

"A sheet of water two miles long and a mile wide, surrounded by 
forests of stately trees, dry and bold shores, divided by a bar near the 
northern end into two basins, almost two lakes, this is Lake Darling. The 
inlet at the southern extremity pours continually into this lake the surplus 
Avaters of a dozen others. The depth varies from sixteen to fifty feet. 
The water is clear and pure. 

"Lake A'ictoria receives the drainage from half a dozen smaller lakes 
at the south. There are two arms, an eastern and western ; both have inlets 
and combine to form the main body of the lake. The western arm is 
much the larger. In this basin the great mass of the water lies. Its depth, 
near the center, varies from forty to fifty feet. The east arm is thirty 
to forty feet deep. Near the outlet the water becomes shallow and reeds 
are numerous. In the center of the lowest part of the lake the depth varies 
from twenty-two to thirty-eight feet. The water is not very pure ; it contains 
a considerable amount of decaying vegetable matter, brought down from 
swamps and shallow lakes above. The shores of the Victoria are generallv 
high and wooded. The banks, where exposed, are clay. A very short out- 
let, crossed by the Great Northern railway, brings us to the next link in 
the chain. 

"Lake Geneva is nearly two miles long and half a mile wide. Its 
waters are clearer than those of Victoria. In some parts it is also con- 
siderably deeper. Soundings varying from thirty to sixty feet were made 
in the south part of the lake. There is clay in the surrounding bluffs, which 
rise ten to twenty feet above the water. The railway has made a long, 
high 'fill' at the inlet. In consequence of these facts the water holds in 
suspension considerable earthy matter, giving it at times a faint vellowish 

"One of the charms of tliis chain of lakes and the country adjacent is 
the presence of fine, large forest trees, which the ravages of the 'woodman' 
have not laid low. For this reason the shores of these lakes are particu- 
larly attractive as places of resort in summer. 

"Lake Le Homme Dieu has a quite irregular shape and lies in two 
distinct depressions of unequal depth. The long point that runs out from 
the west side is continued under water by a bar extending more than half 
way across the lake. In the southern basin, not far from the inlet, the 
water is from sixty to seventy-five feet deep. Iji various parts of this basin 


depths varying from twenty-five to fifty-seven feet were found. The lower 
basin at the north end of the lake is larger and includes a deep bay on 
the west side, but on the whole this portion of the lake is shallower than the 

"As a whole, it is one of the most beautiful sheets of water in Minne- 
sota. The shores are moderately high and well rounded. It is separated 
only by a narrow bar from Lake Carlos. The water is clear and pure. 
In this respect there is a gradual improvement as we proceed down the 
chain. Geneva is purer than Victoria, Le Homme Dieu is purer than Geneva, 
and Carlos is purest of them all. 

"Lake Carlos is the gem of this group of lakes. It is the last and low- 
est of the series. It is the immediate source of Long Prairie river, which 
forms its outlet at the northeast corner. It has two inlets, one from lake 
Darling at the southern extremity, and the other from Lake Le Homme 
Dieu. It thus receives the surplus waters of all the other lakes north and 
south and the drainage of six townships. The lake in some places is one 
hundred and fifty feet deep, and there is a channel averaging fifty feet deep, 
extending the entire length of the lake. The deepest area is not far from 
the Le Homme Dieu inlet. There are shallow areas where the water is 
only five to ten feet deep, further down the lake. It is about five miles long 
and a mile wide. Tlie water is perfectly pure, of a deep, bottle-green color. 
The color, however, varies with the sky and weather, and is sometimes a deep 
indigo and sometimes a light delicate blue. In this lake, as in many others, 
which have been explored with the sounding line and other appliances for 
discovering what lies at the bottom, it was found that there are, under the 
level surface of the water, a variety of hill and dale, plateaus, ravines, 
abrupt declivities and gradual slopes very similar to the irregularities of 
the county around. Vegetation, too, flourishes beneath the waves as vigor- 
ously as on the main land, while the waters are thronged with fish of many 
species and of delicious flavor. 

"There are many indications about the shores of these lakes of former 
higher levels of water. There are old beaches and half-obscured terraces 
which show that the lakes were connected at no very remote date. The 
whole of the 'Alexandria prairie,' which lies between the two chains of 
lakes, is modified drift. The gravel, sands and clays are finely stratified 
and record the fact that at the close of the ice age some ancient river with 
gentle current flowed here, rearranging and depositing in their present posi- 
tions the materials wliich the glacier had brought down. 

"On the eastern lioundary of Douglas county, but lying chiefly in 


Todd county, is Lake Osakis. It is about seven miles long. The southern 
part is a mile and a half to two miles wide. The northern part is narrow 
and deep. The depths at the upper end of the lake varied from forty to 
seventy feet. In the broader part of the lake there are large areas of shallow 
water, varying from five to fifteen feet, the average depth being alx)ut twenty- 
five feet. Around the southern end of the lake, the prairie slopes down 
gradually to the water's edge. Some of the shores are low and wet. At 
other points they are from ten to twenty feet above the water. The water 
varies in purity. In the deep parts at the north end it was quite pure. In 
shallow places and where the wind stirs the whole volume to the bot- 
tom, it has the yellowish hue characteristic of the more alkaline lakes. 

"Among the hills in the southern part of Douglas county are a multi- 
tude of small lakes, the largest of which is Lake Oscar. The surrounding 
country is rolling, and there are some abrupt declivities and massive hills 
of drift, whose summits are from fifty to one hundred and fifty feet above 
the lakes. There is a fringe of oaks about the lake, and a forest on the 
northeast stretches away to Alexandria and beyond. Toward the west 
and south lies a prairie country. The outlet of Lake Oscar, in high water, 
is into the Chippewa river. Its only tributaries are other and smaller lakes. 
The basin is subdivided by various points and bars. The outlet is very 
irregular. This interlocking of the water gives the most charming scenery. 
The shores are bold, being in several places thirty to forty feet above the 
water. The lake is about thirty feet deep in its largest basin, growing shal- 
lower, of course, about the shore's points. 

"In the extreme northwestern part of the county is Lake Christina, 
which has an area of about six scjuare miles, but is very shallow. The 
water is decidedly yellow and muddy. It is full of reeds and rushes. Its 
shallow depth and the rills and rivulets pouring down from clay deposits 
keep it looking very much like the Missouri river. It is rather exceptional 
in this respect among the lakes of this region." 

Maple lake, in the southern part of the county, and Smith lake, 
in the southeastern part, are both fine, deep lakes. 

Topography. The south edge of the great terminal moraine called the 
Leaf hills extends into Lund along the north side of Lake Christina and 
into Millerville north of Lakes Moses and Aaron. Its elevations in these 
townships along the north line of Douglas county are one hundred to two 
hundred and fifty feet above the lakes, or thirteen hundred to sixteen 
hundred feet alaove.the sea. 

At the highest point of the Leaf hills in Otter Tail county, fifteen miles 


south of the Leaf lakes, a morainic belt branches off nearly at right angles 
from the range of the Leaf hills and extends southeast into Douglas county. 
In the first few miles this moraine decreases in height from two hundred to 
seventy-five feet. At the north line of Douglas county it divides into two 
divergent belts, both showing a rough and broken surface, though the hills of 
each are only seventy-five feet or less in height. One of these continues south- 
east and east through Spruce Hill township into Todd county; the other 
runs south-southwest to the northwest side of Lake Miltona, along the west 
side of Lake Ida, by Elk lake and the west part of Lake Lobster, to the con- 
spicuous hills, about one hundred and fifty feet high, at the southwest corner 
of Moe. Each of these belts averages about one mile wide. The latter in its 
farther extent, seems to leave by a continuous course from the prominent 
Leaf hills to the almost equally noteworthy morainic range which extends 
through a distance of forty miles in southern Pope and northern Kandiyohi 

From the hills in Moe and the northeast part of Solum, lying on the 
north and west sides of Lake Oscar, this terminal moraine, seldom much ele- 
vated above the adjacent country, but distinguished by its irregular hills and 
hollows, continues with an average width of about one mile, first southwest 
and south twelve miles to the bridge across the Chippewa river in section 32, 
Xora township, in Pope county; then southeast, east, and east-northeast 
eighteen miles, passing along the north side of Lake Whipple to Glenwood. 
It will probably be found traceable, also, by low knolls and ridges, from the 
bridge in Pope county to the hills in Blue Mounds township, in the same 
ci^unty. About three miles southwest from the course of this moraine, a 
roughly broken tract of morainic hillocks and ridges was noted. 

Most of northwestern Douglas county, between the Leaf hills and lake 
Christina on the north and the moraine that extends from Lakes Miltona and 
Ida southwest to Lake Oscar, is prominently rolling till, rising with smooth 
slopes in swells thirty to fifty feet above the depressions and lakes. The 
most rolling portion of this area is found in the west part of Ida township, 
and on a belt several miles wide southwest from the Great Northern railway. 
Northwest from Brandon station a tract of moderately undulating and partly 
level gravel and sand, belonging to the modified drift, extends to the Chip- 
pewa river: and in Millerville nearly level modified drift extends two or 
three miles south and east from Lake Moses, having a height of twenty to 
forty feet above this lake. The same formation of gravel and sand con- 
tinues iiorriiward on the east side of Lake Karon to the moraine, but in this 
portion it has a motlerately undulating surface. 


I.AKK \"I(T(li;iA. norCLAS COIXTY 


The southwest edge of Douglas county, west and south from Red Rock 
lake, is a somewhat lower and gently undulating expanse of till. In the 
south part of this county, southeast from the moraine, Holmes City, Lake 
Mary and the west half of La Grand are undulating or rolling till, with eleva- 
tions twenty to forty feet above the hollows. The morainic hills of till west 
of Lake Ida and north of the west part of Lake Miltona, seventy-five to one 
hundred feet high, are quite in contrast with the moderately undulating or 
often nearly level till which covers central and southeastern Miltona and 
continues thence south through Carlos and Alexandria, the east part of Hud- 
son, the south part of Belle River and Osakis and Orange townships. 

In northeastern Miltona and Spruce Hill townships the morainic belt 
consists chiefly of kame-like, short, disconnected ridges of coarse gravel, 
twenty to thirty, or rarely, forty feet high, most frequently trending from 
west to east, or approximately so. North and south of this belt are tracts of 
level modified drift, only ten to twenty-five feet above the streams; that south 
of the moraine occupies the north half of Belle River township, and con- 
tinues westward on the south side of the Long Prairie river to Lake Carlos. 

Another tract of modified drift, consisting for the most part of level 
or slightly undulating sand and gravel, extends eight or nine miles south from 
Alexandria, through the west half of Hudson township; and the same forma- 
tion with a more rolling surface, in swells and plateaus twenty-five to fifty 
feet above the depressions and lakes, also reaches three or four miles west 
and northwest from Alexandria, through the east half of La Grand town- 
ship. Kames of coarse gravel, forming short ridges, ten to thirty feet high, 
were noted near the Maple lake school house in section 29, Hudson town- 

Osakis lake is about thirteen hundred and ten feet, and Lakes Winona 
and Agnes, close west and north of Alexandria, are about thirteen hundred 
and sixty-five feet above the sea. 

The highest land in Douglas county is on or near the north line of Millers- 
ville, which crosses the border of the Leaf hills, attaining at a few points a 
height of about sixteen hundred feet above the sea. The other portions of 
this county are from one hundred to four hundred feet lower, its lowest 
land being the shore of lake Christina, which is about twelve hundred and 
fifteen feet above the sea, or the valley of the Chippewa river at the south- 
west corner of the county, which has nearly the same elevation. Estimates 
of the average heights of the townships of Douglas county are as follows: 
Spruce Hill, fourteen hundred feet above the sea; Belle River, thirteen hun- 


dred and forty; Osakis, thirteen hundred and sixty; Orange, thirteen hun- 
dred and seventy-five; Miltona, fourteen hundred and forty; Carlos, thirteen 
hundred and seventy-five ; Alexandria, thirteen hundred and eighty ; Hudson, 
thirteen hundred and ninety; Leaf Valley, fourteen hundred and twenty; Ida, 
fourteen hundred and twenty-five; La Grand, thirteen hundred and ninety; 
Lake Mary, fourteen hundred; Millerville, fourteen hundred and forty; 
Chippewa, thirteen hundred and ninety ; Moe, fourteen hundred and twenty ; 
Holmes City, fourteen hundred and ten; Lund, thirteen hundred and thirty; 
Evansville, thirteen hundred and fifty; Urness, thirteen hundred and sixty; 
and Solem, thirteen hundred and fifty. The mean elevation of Douglas 
county, derived from these figures, is approximately thirteen hundred and 
eighty-five feet. 

Soil and Timber. The l)lack soil, one to two feet thick, is the upper 
part of the glacial and modified drift covering this county, thus colored and 
made fertile by the decay of vegetation during many centuries. The carbon- 
ates of lime and magnesia, in the form of magnesian limestone boulders, 
pebbles and fine detritus, are an important ingredient of the drift, contribut- 
ing much to the productiveness of the soil, and also making the water of wells 
and springs hard. Alkaline matter is not present in appreciable quantity. 
Wheat and other grains, sorghum, potatoes and other vegetables, live stock, 
butter and cheese, are the chief agricultural products. 

Douglas county is well supplied with timber, about half its area being 
wooded. This forest extends from Miltona, Spruce Hill and Belle River, its 
most northeastern townships, southwestward to Lakes Andrews, Mary and 
Oscar. Southeast of this belt, the south edge of Osakis and most of Orange 
and Hudson townships are prairie. In the northwest part of Douglas county 
a strip of timber two or three miles wide, consisting partly of oak openings, 
extends from Lake Miltona westerly to Chippewa lake and into Millerville 
and Lund townships. Besides this, most of the lakes are fringed with woods. 


This count}- is entirely covered by the glacial and modified drift. The 
thickness of the drift in Douglas county is probably from one hundred to 
two hundred and fifty feet. Its bottom has not been reached by wells, and 
this estimate is derived from its known thickness on adjoining areas. The 
greater part of this formation is till or the modified glacial drift, called also 
boulder-clay, or hardpan, deposited by the ice-sheet without modification by 
water. With this are associated beds of modified drift or gravel, sand and 


clay, which were gathered from the ice, assorted and laid down by the waters 
set free by glacial melting. 

Terminal moraines. The material of the terminal moraines of the ice- 
sheet which have been explored in Minnesota is nearly everywhere till, with 
scanty deposits of modified drift. The latter consists of obliquely and irregu- 
larly stratified gravel and sand, the gravel often being very coarse, with 
pebbles and rounded stones of all sizes up to a foot or more in diameter. 
It either occurs enclosed in the till, forming beds and masses of variable 
shapes from a few inches to several feet in thickness, or sometimes it is 
spread upon the surface and forms knolls and ridges. No considerable area 
or extensive portion of this formation is found to consist of water, within this 
region; though at some localities in Spruce Hill township, it is in great part 
stratified gravel and sand, usually with numerous boulders enclosed and 
scattered over its ridges and hillocks. 

The till of the terminal moraines differs very noticeably from the more 
level areas of till which generally lie at each side ; in that the former has many 
more boulders, and a much larger intermixture of gravel and sand than the 
latter. On an average, probably twenty times as many rock-fragments, both 
large and small, occur in the morainic hills and knolls as on the smoother 
tracts, and sometimes the ratio is a hundredfold. The smaller pebbles and 
stones have angular and unworn forms, or more frequently are rounded, 
probably by water-wearing before the glacial period, or show planed and 
striated surfaces, due to grinding under the moving ice-sheet. The large 
boulders are mostly less than five feet, but rarely are ten feet or more in 
diameter. In form they are subangular and of irregular shape, rarely show- 
ing any distinctly water-worn or glaciated surface. 

In contour these deposits are very uneven, consisting usuallv of many 
hillocks, mounds and ridges of rough outlines and broken slopes, with enclosed 
hollows, which are sometimes nearly round, but more generally have some 
irregular fomi, often holding sloughs and lakelets. The only indication of 
system appears in the frequently noticeable trends of the elevations and 
depressions in a direction approximately parallel with the course of the 

It should be added that the ridges which occur as part of this formation 
differ from the ridges of interbedded gravel and sand called osars, in their 
material, which is usually boulder-clay or till; in their trend, at right angles 
with the course in which the ice moved, while series of osars extend nearly 
in the direction taken by glacial currents; and in their length, single ridges 
of the moraines being only froiu a few rods to a quarter of a mile or very 


rarely perhaps a half mile long, while a single ridge in a series of osars is 
generally longer, and is sometimes distinctly traceable ten or twenty miles. In 
this state, however, osars of similar extent with those of Sweden and Scot- 
land, and those described in Maine by Prof. George H. Stone, in ^lassa- 
chusetts by Rev. G. F. Wright, and in New Hampshire by Professor \\'in- 
chell. have not been found. 

The height of the morainic elevations above the intervening hollows 
is generalh" from twenty-five to seventy-five or one hundred feet. The only 
district in this state where they are higher for any considerable part of the 
series is the Leaf hills, which through a distance of twenty miles rise from 
one hundred to three hundred and fifty feet above the adjoining country. 
Upon the Coteau des Prairies the terminal moraines lie on areas of highland, 
to tlie altitude of which xhey appear to add seventy-five or one hundred and 
rarely one hundred and fifty or two hundred feet. 

For agriculture the value of the terminal moraines is much less than 
that of the gently undulated till which generally covers other parts of this 
region. Among the hills of this formation, however, are found considerable 
areas which have a smooth surface, nearly free from boulders, and possess 
a highly productive soil; while the portions which are too knolly and stony 
for desirable cultivation afiford excellent pasturage. In some districts the 
entire morainic belt is in smooth swells, being all good farming land. 

The origin of these series of drift hills is confidently referred to the 
action of the continental ice-sheet, accumulating them at its margin in suc- 
cessive belts, which mark the farthest limit reached by the ice in the last 
glacial epoch and lines where it halted or perhaps temporarily re-advanced 
during its final recession. Their reference to the agency of land-ice is 
required by the partly near and partly remote sources of their material; 
bv its generallv unstratified condition; by its transportation next to these 
hill-ranges in courses nearly at right angles toward them ; and by the variable 
elevation of the series, conforming to all the irregularities in altitude of the 
region across which they extend. 

In general, the material and contour of the morainic belts in Douglas 
county present the same characteristics as in other parts of the state, agreeing 
fully with the foregoing descriptions. The contour of the drift hills, trending 
from east to west, is in the same direction as the belt which they form. Their 
material is partly sand and gravel, commonly with frequent or abundant 
boulders, and partly Ixiulder-clay or till. The shortness and the disconnected 
or irregularly interlocked arrangement of the ridges, their variable width 
and broken sloi>es, forbid their reference to such glacial rivers as deposited 


the prolonged narrow ridges called osars, and seem to prove that their accumu- 
lation, where they consist of sand and gravel, was by the waters flowing 
down from the melting surface of the ice-sheet along its margin. This mode 
of formation must also be attributed to the greater part of the morainic 
belt observed in Soruce Hill township, and the northeast part of Miltona, 
and to the- upper part of the bluffs at Glenwood. Boulders are usually pres- 
ent, and at many places are very abundant in and on the deposits of gravel 
and sand in the morainic belts; but they are usually absent or rare in and 
on osars, wherever these peculiar gravel ridges have been observed. 

Comparison and correlation with the morainic belts of other portions 
of the state indicate that the series of drift hills is contemporaneous with the 
sixth or Waconia moraine and the seventh or Dove moraine. The former 
is represented by the' drift accumulations along the line of Chippewa and 
Lake Whipple in Pope county. The latter, or Dove moraine, continues 
westerly and northwest to Nora township, where it curves graduallv and 
thence runs northeast through the county by Takes Oscar. Ida and ^liltona. 
The lobe of the ice-sheet on whose boundaries these lines of knolly and hilly 
drift were formed, lay on their south and west side. At the time of the 
Waconia moraine the angle in the glacial boundary formed by the confluence 
of the ice-fields flowing from the west and those flowing from the north 
and northeast was probably near Glenwood, in Pope county, the northern ice 
temiinating on the tract of rolling till that extends eastward from Glenwood 
and Lake Reno into Stearns county, not distinguished by specially morainic 
contour. At the time of the Dove moraine this northern ice appears to have 
reached only to Spruce Hill township, its angle of confluence with the west- 
ern ice-lobe l^eing in the north part of Miltona township. During the two 
stages next later in the glacial recession the massive Leaf hills were accumu- 
lated at the south end of the western "ice-lobe, which in its earlier extent had 
covered the basin of the Minnesota river and stretched southward in Iowa 
to Des Moines. 

In the suljsequent recession of the ice-sheet from eastern Douglas 
county, b}- which its margin was withdrawn to the moraines of Lakes Oscar, 
Ida and Miltona, and that of Spruce Hill township, further deposits of 
modified drift were made, including the Mt of undulating or nearly flat 
sand and gravel, about one mile wide, reaching from Lake Amelia and 
Turtle lake to the north end of Westport lake and continuing thence with 
less width along Ashley creek to the Sauk river; the plain in Hudson and 
Alexandria townships, with the connected area of plateaus, swells and kame- 
like accumulations in La Grand township ; and the plain bordering the Lon<T 


Prairie river in Carlos and Belle river townships, with associated undulating 
and partly rolling and kame-like deposits in the south part of Spruce Hill. 
The terminal moraines in Todd county show, however, that the course of 
drainage could not continue north-eastward in the valley of Long Prairie 
river, still covered by the ice-sheet, but was turned southward into the Sauk 

Much of Carlos township has a moderately undulating surface of till, 
underlain at the depth of ten to twenty feet by a thick bed of sand, in which 
wells obtain water before reaching its bottom. Again, about one mile east 
of Alexandria a railroad-cut was seen to consist of stratified sand and gravel, 
having a vertical thickness of twenty feet exposed and continuing lower, 
overlain by a deposit of till three to ten feet thick. These observations prove 
a considerable re-advance of the ice after it had once retreated, but both 
these movements probably took place within the same last glacial epoch. 

A fault was seen in a lenticular layer of dark laminated clay one and a 
half feet thick, enclosed in till, in the section cut for the railroad in the 
north part of Evansville. The north end of this clay layer has fallen one and 
a half feet. This is five feet above the railroad track and about thirty-five 
feet below the surface, the whole section above and beneath the faulted clay 
being till. 

Mean elevation due to underlying formations. The grand topographic 
features of this district, as the highlands and the depression occupied bv Lake 
Christina, are doubtless due to the contour of the formations, probably Cre- 
taceous, which underlie the drift deposits. Erosion during the long Ter- 
tiary ages had probably sculptured the strata that then formed the surface 
in massive hills and elevated areas resembling the buttes and mesas of 
the West, divided by basins and channels sometimes several hundred feet 
lower. Such preglacial contour, though partially planed down and filled up 
by the erosion of the ice, still determined the mean elevation of the envelop- 
ing drift-sheet, giving in this district the l^eautiful scenery in southwestern 

Boulders of magnesian limestone, like that outcropping near Winnipeg 
in Manitoba, are frequent in the drift throughout this country, perhaps mak- 
ing on an average a twentieth part of the rock- fragments over one foot in 
size. Occasionally very large slabs and blocks of it are found, measuring 
ten to twenty feet in length. A much larger proportion of the gravel is this 
limestone, which makes alx)ut a third on the shores of some of the lakes. 

The other boulders and gravel are chiefly crystalline rocks, as granite, 
syenite, gneiss, and micaceous and hornblendic schists. The largest mass of 


this kind observed is a boulder of flesh-colored granite. It is forty or fifty 
feet below the highest land of the township. This kind of granite, however, 
does not appear to be specially abundant in the drift. No other boulder of 
the crystalline rocks larger than five to seven feet in dimension, was noticed 
in the county. 

Ice-formed ridges of gravel and sand, sometimes with numerous boul- 
ders, occur in many places on the shores of lakes, usually where the water 
is shallow and the adjoining land low, being quite often a marsh scarcely 
higher than the lake, above which the ridge has a height of three to six and 
seven feet, with a width of three to six or eight rods. Such ridges are seen 
on the southeast side of Lake Moses in Millerville township; at the mouth 
of Little Chippewa lake in section 9, Chippewa township; along a distance 
of one and a half miles on the west side of the north part of Lake Amelia 
and between this and Turtle lake, which were united before the formation, 
of this ridge. 

The soil and agricultural capabilities of the county, and its timber, has 
already been noticed. In adaptation for profitable farming, which must con- 
tinue to be their chief source of wealth, they are unsurpassed by any other 
part of the state or of the Northwest. 

Building Sfoiic. No rock-outcrops occur in this district, but the 
boulders of the drift supply the needs of the farmer for coarse masonry, as 
foundations and the walls of cellars and wells. 

Lime. Magnesian limestone boulders are used in many places for lime- 
burning. Lime is burned at Evansville and other parts of Evansville town- 
ship, as well as in Millerville, Chippewa, Ida and La Grand townships. 


In the northern corner of Alexandria township, between Lakes Carlos 
and Le Homme Dieu, on the west side of the road in heavy woods, is a steep 
mound, about fifteen feet high, which has been partly dug out and was found 
to contain bones. Near this are also two or three smaller mounds, about five 
feet high. 


The Kensington Rune Stone; An Ancient Tragedy. 

If the conclusions of eminent archaeologists be correct, the one outstand- 
ing, paramount fact in the histor_v of Douglas county is that one hundred and 
thirty years before the voyage of Columbus to America, white men — Euro- 
peans — had trod the soil of that section of Minnesota now comprised within 
the boundaries of Douglas county and had left here a record of their travels 
and of their perilous adventures and of the death of ten of their number at 
the hands of the savages. 


When a stone inscribed in Runic characters carrying the above simple 
narrative was unearthed on the farm of Olaf Ohman on the southeast quarter 
of section 14, Solem township, about three miles northeast from Kensington 
station, in Douglas county, in the fall of 1898, much local interest was 
created in the matter, but it was not until some little time later that the find 
was brought to the attention of archaeologists in such a way as to lead to 
the widespread investigation which has marked the later history of what now 
is known on two continents as the Kensington Rune Stone. Archaeologists 
are divided in their opinion as to the genuineness of the record here unfolded 
and there has arisen a considerable controversy in relation to the matter, 
elaborate arguments being presented both for and against the genuineness 
of the inscription on the stone; some maintaining that the Runic characters 
there inscril:ied are but the work of a clever forger lient on perpetrating an 


even more elaborate hoax than was the famous "Cardiff giant," while other 
equally earnest and sincere scholars declare that there can be no doubt of the 
authenticity of the record, among these latter being Mr. Warren Upham, 
archaeologist of the Minnesota Historical Society, and some other members 
of that society, and in 1910 a preliminary report in the matter was made to 
the society by its museum committee. In view of the fact, however, that 
statements have been made that the Minnesota Historical Society endorsed 
the Kensington Rune Stone as authentic, Solon J. Buck, superintendent of 
that society, desires, in this connection, to call attention to the exact position 
of the society on the subject. The museum committee, as will be seen by the 
report which follows, rendered a favorable opinion, "provided, that the 
references to Scandinavian hterature given in this committee's written report 
and accompanying papers be verified by a competent specialist in the Scandi- 
navian languages, to be selected by this committee, and that he approve the 
conclusions of this report." 

The report of the committee was presented to the executive council of 
the society, but was never accepted or adopted by the council or by the society 
itself. It was, however, as will also be noted in the report that follows, 
received and ordered printed "with the statement that the council and society 
reserve their conclusions until more agreement of opinion for or against 
the rune inscription may be attained." Xo further action on the subject has 
ever been taken by the executive council or by the societv. It also will be 
noted that Professor Bothne, who was selected by the museum committee, 
in accordance with its resolution, to verify the references, refused to approve 
the conclusions of the committee's report. Since that report was made, Mr. 
Holand, the owner of the stone, took it abroad and it was examined by a 
number of European scholars, but so far as has appeared, few if any of 
them have expressed their belief in its authenticity. Superintendent Buck's 
position in the matter is similar to that expressed by the executive council 
of the society in 1910. Never having made a study of runic inscriptions, he 
is quoted as preferring to reserve his conclusion in the matter until more 
agreement of opinion is reached among experts in the field. 

Below is given in full the preliminary report of the Minnesota Historical 
Society by its museum committee on the famous 


As the museum committee is charged with the responsiliility of making 
a recommendation to the society respecting the authenticit}- or the fraudulent 


origin of the Kensington Rune Stone and its inscription, it is thought best 
to review somewhat carefully the facts as to the discovery of the stone. 
For this purpose the results of the three visits made to that locality 1)y Prof. 
N. H. Winchell, investigating the subject for this committee, will here be 
cast into one statement. 


The stone was found on the farm of Mr. Olof Ohman on the southeast 
quarter of section 14, Solem township, Douglas county, about three miles 
northeast from Kensington station on the "Soo Line," on November 8, 1898. 
The owner of the farm was having a patch of land cleared of timber prepara- 
tory to plowing, and his men were grubbing out the stumps. There were 
present at the finding, or immediately thereafter, the following persons : Olof 
Ohman, his sons, Olof Emil Ohman, 12 years of age, and Edward Ohman, 
10 years of age, and Xils Olof Flaaten. owner of the adjoining farm. 

The exact location was on the southern slope of one of two knolls which 
together form the higher part of what has been called an "island," because 
formerly surrounded by a lake and now surrounded by a grassy marsh. These 
knolls have an extreme height, above the surface of the marsh, of fifty-five 
feet, the smaller knoll rising about fifty feet. The stone lay forty- four feet 
above the marsh. 

When the stone was found, its inscribed side was down, and about six 
inches of soil covered it. A poplar or aspen tree grew above it, and spread 
its principal roots about it, running into the ground on opposite sides. On 
being cut away the stump carrying the roots lay adjacent for some weeks 
and was seen and noted by several visitors. Estimates as to the size and 
age of the tree vary somewhat, some stating that it was at least ten years 
old and others that it was from twenty to thirty years old, and one esti- 
mating it as probably forty years old. According to Mr. Sam Olson, of 
Kensington, this tree was about four or five inches in diameter at about 
fifteen inches above the stone, and about ten inches in diameter at six or 
eight inches above the stone. The roots of the tree, especially the largest 
one which spread over the surface of the stone, were flattened by contact 
with the stone during the period of their growth. The flattening of the roots 
is an important feature, as it denotes that the tree had been in contact 
with the stone during the whole time of the life of the tree. 

In the spring subsequent to the finding of the stone Mr. Samuel Olson 
and a party visited the place and made some excavations where the stone 
was found, having the idea that the men who were massacred had been 


buried there, and that the stone was designed to mark their burial place. He 
saw, and all his party saw, the stump of the tree that grew on the stone. The 
members of this party, besides Mr. Olson, were the following: Cleve Van 
Dyke, executive clerk to the late Governor Johnson, then superintendent of 
schools of Douglas county; J. P. Hedberg, now at Warroad; John M. Olson, 
who furnished a team, now at Alexandria; Albert Larson, now in Canada; 
John E. Johnson, of Kensington; Emil Johnson, now at Warroad; Gulick 
Landsvark, living two miles east of Kensington; and Lars Goldberg, now 
at Bowbells, North Dakota. 

Mr. Samuel Olson and Mr. John E. Johnson signed a joint statement 
that the tree must have been at least ten years old, and more likely twenty 
or thirty years old. The rest of the party have not been consulted, but Mr. 
Joseph Hotvedt stated that he saw the roots and verified the description of 
their flatness, "such as would be caused by lying against a stone." 

Mr. Olson made a drawing to show the appearance of this stump when 
in contact with the stone. He thinks the largest root ran over and across 
the stone, but Mr. Olof Ohman was positive that the largest root ran down 
into the ground at the edge of the stone, and that a smaller root ran across 
the upper face of the stone. This smaller root he thought was about three 
inches in diameter. 

It should be stated here that Professor Flom's account of his interview 
with Mr. Olson carries a misapprehension of what Mr. Olson said as to the 
size of the tree. Mr. Olson says that he said that the tree tapered so that at 
15 or 18 inches above the stone it was about four or five inches in diameter. 

The topography of Mr. Ohman' s farm and the adjoining country is 
morainic, the elevations rising sometimes somewhat abruptly to the height 
of fifty or seventy-five feet, or even a hundred feet, above the adjoining 
lowlands. The material of the drift is clay of a limonitic yellow color, but 
at a depth of fifteen to twenty feet this clay is blue. There are ver)^ few 
boulders in the clay, yet on the tops of some of the drift hills granitic and 
other boulders are numerous, and sometimes the}- are found in numbers 
near the bases of the hills and in the swamps. They are sometimes large and 
conspicuous, and frequently have been gathered into heaps in the fields. 
About seventy-five in a hundred of the boulders are of granite; about five 
in a hundred are of limestone; about five in a hundred are of gabbro or of 
gabbroid rocks; five in a hundred are of Keewatin greenstone, including 
Ogishke conglomerate; about five in a hundred are of dark nondescript rock, 
sometimes quartzosfi ; and the other five in a hundred may be compared with 
the rock of the rune stone, being some of the various forms of gravwacke. 


The extreme length of the Rune Stone is 36 inches, width across the 
face 15 inches, the thickness sVz inches, and its weight is about 230 pounds. 
It is of graywacke, but its shape and dark color suggest that it is trap. Its 
flat surfaces and angular jointage are due apparently to long continued heat- 
ing and slow cooling in contact, or near contact, with igneous rocks. On 
its inscribed face is a layer of calcite covering a part of the area in which 
the inscription was engraved. This calcite was deposited in a jointage- 
opening, probably when the rock was in its native place; and it has been 
revealed by the removal of an adjoining parallel mass, the joint plane itself 
causing the even face on which the engraving was made. The reverse of 
the inscribed side is not so regular and has evidently been through the rough 
experiences of glacial action, since it bears a number of distinct glacial striae. 
The men who found the stone are plain and simple farmers, working 
hard to derive a subsistence for themselves and families from their land. The 
honesty and candor of Mr. Olof Ohman become evident to anyone who 
converses with him. He does not speak English readily, but seems to under- 
stand English when he hears it spoken in common conversation. He states 
that his education comprised six terms of school in Sweden, of six weeks 
each, in an elementary county school, where the children gathered for instruc- 
tion, first at one farm house for a week and then at another, six weeks in 
all making one term. I was told that Mr. Ohman came to his farm in 1890, 
and on consulting the register of deeds at Alexandria I found lands deeded 
at four different dates, now constituting the Ohman farm, from 1890 to 1898. 
from Halvor Stenson, Ole Amundson, and E. J. Moen. 

After finding the stone, it was exliibited for a time in the drug store 
at Kensington. It was later sent to Minneapolis and was examined by Prof. 
O. J. Breda, also to Evanston, 111., and was examined by Prof. George O. 
Curine. As they pronounced it fraudulent, it was returned to the finder 
in March. 1899, who placed it carelessly in his )ard, where it served as a step- 
ping stone near his granary for eight years, without further notice. In 
1907 Mr. Hjalmar Rued Holand obtained it of Mr. Ohman, and has brought 
it again to notice and wider study. By Mr. Holand it was brought to the 
attention of the Minnesota Historical Society; and the museum committee 
was directed to investigate its authentic or fraudulent record, and to report 
their recommendation to the executive council. Mr. Holand has since exhib- 
ited it in Chicago, Illinois; Madison, Wisconsin, and Northfield, Minnesota, 
giving in each place a lecture. This has brought out various criticisms, pro 
and con, and the burden resting on the committee has considerably increased. 
The memliers of this committee appreciate the great importance of the 


question which is in their hands, and they know, collectively and individually, 
that it is due to American history, before they stamp the stone with their 
approval or their rejection, to make an exhaustive investigation and an impar- 
tial discussion of all the circumstances. 


The runic inscription has been translated as l>elo\v and published by 
Mr. Holand in Harper's Weekly, October 9, 1909. 

On the face of the stone : 

8 goter ok 22 norrmen po opdhagelse fardh fro \'inland of vest vi 
hadhe laeger vedh 2 skjar en dags rise norr fro dheno sten vi var ok tiske 
en dhagh aeptir vi kom hem fan 10 man riidhe af blodh og dhedh A X M 
fraelse af illy 

On the edge of the stone: 

har 10 mans ve(dj havet at se aeptir vore skip 14 [?] dhagh rise 
from dheno oh ahr 1362 

No one has called in question the correctness of this translation. In 
explanation of the transliteration Mr. Holand writes: "The runic alpha- 
bet had only one character to indicate three, or what became three, different 
sounds, til. dli, and d. Out of 2,000 runic inscriptioris we find only about 
a half dozen having a separate sign for d. This character was later sup- 
plemented, and was used medially and finally. This however was used 
only in the literature written in Roman characters, and was never used 
in runic inscriptions. In most cases this has now been superseded by d, 
but there is reason to believe that in the fourteenth centur\- it had a soft 
sound. I have therefore translated it with dh." 

The English translation is as follows: 

"Eight Goths [Swedes] and twenty-two Norwegians upon a journey 
of discovery from Vinland westward. We had a camp by two skerries 
one day's journey north from this stone. We were out fishing one day. 
When we returned home we found ten men red with jjlood and dead. 
A V M [Ave, Virgo Maria], save us from evil. 

[We] have ten men by the sea to look after our vessels fourteen 
[or forty-one?] days' journey from this island. Year 1362." 


There are two or three references to natural objects to which we should 
give special attention : 


(a) Their camp was near two rocks in the water (skerries), one 
clay's journe}- north from the stone ; 

(h) The location of the stone was on an island; 

(3) The sea was fourteen days' journey from the stone (doubtfvilly 
forty-one ). 

( a ) Professor P\)ssuni and Mr. Holand searched about Lake Chris- 
tina. I'elican lake, and other lakes, lying about one day's journey (twenty 
miles ) toward the north. The former found no rocks about the shores 
which could be accepted as the rocks mentioned in the inscription. Mr. 
Holand, guided by Rev. O. A. Norman of Ashby, found several large 
boulders standing in the water about 300 or 400 feet from a sharp point 
on the southwest shore of Pelican lake, which seemed to him to answer 
the description. There are twelve or thirteen of them and hence they are 
too numerous, and for the purpose of locating a camping-place they would 
hardly be referred to, and certainly would not be at all in accord with the 
number "two." Mr. Norman remarked, on occasion of a late interview, 
that the term "skerry" is applicable to one rock or a series of rocks, and 
that there are two lines or series of boulders which run not exactly parallel, 
and that those lines might be called the skerries referred to in the inscrip- 
tion : but such lines are not distinguishable from the land. 

There are, however, on the point itself, at the water's edge and at 
the extremity of the point, two enormous boulders. One is of red porphy- 
ritic granite, cut by a coarse red dike, three inches wide, with dimensions 
of 6 feet by 4 feet by 3>4 feet, with rounded contours. The other is of 
gray gneiss, banded with light reddish laminae, 6 feet by 4^/2 feet by 4 feet, 
irregularly and bluntly angular, showing some brecciation and a pegmatyte 
\'ein about an inch wide. These boulders are in the most exposed position, 
and are very conspicuous objects to anyone standing on the land a few rods 
farther back. Some small boulders and sand form the immediate break- 
water of the beach, and also compose the point itself for some distance 
inland from the boulders. 

This part of the point is liable to destruction by ice and waves and 
winds of every season. That it is transitory is proved by the fact that 
the roots of a small oak are uncovered to the height of fourteen inches 
above the present surface, and this oak must have started to grow when 
the surface on which it s])routed was so much higher than now. Under 
such conditions, at times when the adjoining beach may have been washed 
away, the large boulders would be surrounded by water. It is also very 
certain that 548 _\'ears ago the lake level was somewhat higher than it is 


now, and that circumstance alone, without the removal of the stones and 
sand lying now about the big boulders, would have brought these stones 
into the water, and would give them exactly the characters required to 
comply with the inscription. The present beach line is parallelled, on either 
side of the point, by a higher beach composed of boulders, gravel, and sand, 
which could have been formed only when the lake was about two feet 
higher than now. This upper beach fades away into the mainland of the 
point, but between its arms enibraces a small lagoon. If the explorers" 
camp was on this point, near its extremity, the two big boulders would ht 
chosen very naturally as reference points in the inscription. 

( h ) The stone is said to have been located on an island, but when 
found it was not on an island. It was on a morainic hill which is now 
surrounded by a grassy marsh, and which may have been an island in a 
small lake prior to the desiccation of the country which has converted many 
lakes into marshes and many marshes into meadows. This gradual drying 
up of the country is a well-known feature throughout the western part of 
the state. It has been known and many times noted during the last fifty 
years throughout the Northwest. If the stone be genuine, therefore, the 
present disagreement with the facts, as with the skerries, is due to physi- 
cal change in the surface of the country. 

(c) The sisrae was fourteen days' journey from the sea. At no 
place could the sea be reached in that space of time, with their means 
of tra\el, other than Hudson bay. There is some doubt whether this 
figure should be 14 or 41, and if it be 41 it would allow the supposition 
that the party penetrated the country by way of the Great Lakes. There 
are, however, insuperable oljjections to such an idea. It is a very improb- 
able suggestion that from any place which may have had the name of \'in- 
land a party would penetrate North America by that route, Ijy sail and by 
foot, to encounter the natives in a tragic death only in western Minne- 
sota. That suggestion need not Ije further considered; and the more so, 
.'■■ince the route of possible tra\'el, or at least most probable, as shown bv 
the ^Minnesota Historical Society's map of regions north to Hudson bay 
and of the pro.ximity of Minnesota through a well-known water route, 
would have been from \''inland to Hudson bay, and to Lake Winnipeg 
via Nelson river, and thence up the Red river of the North. This map is 
based on the chart of J. T. Smith, published in 1839 at London, in a work 
entitled "The Discovery of America by the Northmen in the Tenth Cen- 
tury." By this map it appears that the entrance to Hudson bav is directly 
west from W'estljygd and Eastl5}'gd, the chief settlements of Greenland, 


and could hardly fail of being well known. It is the route which the ships 
of the Hudson Bay Company followed for about three hundred years in 
reaching" the region of furs tributary to Hudson ba}^. 


It will be noted that, according to Smith's map, Vinland was eastern 
Massachusetts; and it is customary, in writings dealing with the North- 
men's discoveries, to mention three parts of the coast of North America, 
namely, Helluland, Markland, and Vinland, the last being farthest south. 
But that there was confusion in the application of these geographic terms 
there seems no room to question. It seems to be a mere assumption that 
Helluland was north of Markland, for it is sometimes said to be northeast of 
Greenland, and even to be duplicated, one to the northeast and one to the 
southwest, while Rafn has placed one at Labrador and one at Newfound- 
land. This last made it reasonable to place Vinland much further south 
(Nova Scotia). 

That Vinland was not exclusively Nova Scotia, but still less exclu- 
sively Massachusetts, is evident from Joseph Fischer's work, "The Dis- 
coveries of the Norsemen in America" (St. Louis, 1903), at page 3, when, 
in quoting from Adam of Bremen's oldest work, Fischer states that the 
objections to Adam's tales consisted mainly in a statement like the fol- 
lowing : 

"After Wineland there is no habitable land in that ocean, but all that 
emerges is icebound and wrapped in impenetrable mist." 

Adam was the earliest, according to Fischer, who called attention to 
the arctic and North American discoveries of the Northmen, having written 
in A. D. 1067. Perhaps the objection to Adam's account of Vinland was 
based by Fischer on an idea of Vinland which grew up afterward without 
sufficient warrant, and it is necessary to inquire to what land Adam's original 
description was intended to be applied. It could not apply to the region 
south of Labrador, but it is applicable to the country north and west, i. e., 
adjoining Hudson strait and extending into Hudson bay; and it seems to 
indicate that from the first the Northmen knew something of the rugged- 
ness and inhospitable nature of at least the northern part of Hudson bay. 
It is perhaps reasonable to presume that at the first the term Vinland was 
applied to the whole known coast of North America, and that it was only 
at a later epoch that it was localized and restricted to Nova Scotia or to 
Massachusetts. But that would discredit the storv of the discoverv of 


grapes by the enthusiastic German, unless it can be shown that grapes grew 
■ spontaneously as far north as Labrador. 

Note — Since the foregoing was written, the important researches of 
Prof. AI. L. Fernald on the "Plants of Wineland the Good" have been 
printed (Rhodora, February, 1910), which show conclusively that the 
"grapes" referred to by the translators of the sagas, were not the fruit 
of the grape vine (Vitis), but some form of currant (Ribes), or the wine- 
berry of northern Europe (Vaccinium Vitis-Idaea), and that the last named 
species is common in northern Labrador. As the so-called "grapes" were 
gathered so abundantly as to fill their afterboat in the spring of the year, 
it seems certain that the fruit so gathered was that which is now well 
known as wine-berry (Vaccinium Vitis-Idaea), which is so abundant in the 
spring as to constitute the food supply for birds when they return from the 
south. Professor Fernald also shows that the "self-planted wheat," men- 
tioned as one of the products of Vinland, was the strand wheat (Elymus 
arenarius). having a similar northern distribution. The tree which the Norse- 
men procured in Vinland, as identified by Fernald, was not maple, but some 
form of curly birch, probably the canoe birch (Betula papyracea). These 
researches not only confirm the description of Adam of Bremen, but render 
it probable that the people of Vinland were acquainted with more or less 
of Hudson bay. 

It is well known that students of Norse records have found difficulty 
in reconciling the statements respecting Vinland, not only as to the name 
of the discoverer, but as to the nature of the country and its products. It 
occurs to this committee that possibly these discrepancies can be reconciled 
by the supposition that two different eastward-facing coasts have been con- 
founded and considered as one. The earliest accounts are perfectly appli- 
cable to the west coast of Hudson bay. The Flatey book states that in 
\'inland were glaciers, and these are well known about the northwestern 
confines of Hudson Bay, but are not found in Nova Scotia nor in Massa- 
chusetts, and only scantily in Labrador. The description* by Adam of 
Bremen, and the earlier dates given by the Flatey book, giving Bjarne as 
the discoverer of Vinland, seem to point to the west coast of Hudson bay. 
After the lapse of about fifteen years (985 to 1000) Leif's accidental voy- 
age to \'inland took place, and there is reason to suppose that he and his 
successors visited points/ on the Atlantic side of North America, but sup- 
posed they had visited the country which had already been named Vinland. 
From his and Karlsefne's sagas, there rose the geographic distinction of 


Helluland. Markland, and \'inland. so much spoken of by all later accounts. 
The committee has not taken the time necessar}- to verify or to disprove 
this h\-pothesis. and desires merely to call attention to it as a possible solu- 
tion of contradictions that appear in the historic records, avoiding the neces- 
sity- of rejecting either as untrustworthy. 

Dr. Henrik Xissen. of Minneapolis, has called attention to "Characters"' 
described as engraved on the rocks of the shore of Hudson bay, not far 
from Fort George, and suggests that they may be runes made by the Norse- 
men. There certainly was no permanent colonization of \'inland. and 
according to Fischer all arguments hitherto brought forward to support 
the idea of colonization by the Xorse have proved to be fallacious. The 
definite histon,- of the voyages to \'inland ends at A. D. 1121. but there is 
sufficient account to show that until the year 1362 voyages from the Scandi- 
navian settlements in AA'estem Greenland were occasionally made to \'in- 
land. The western settlement in Greenland was about that time attacked 
by Eskimo and destroyed, and probably within a half century later the 
eastern settlement suffered a similar stroke. The year A. D. 1406 is the 
last date given in the Icelandic annals for the arrival of a foreign vessel 
in Greenland. A colony in Vinland, if it existed, therefore must have 
perished about the same time as the destruction of the Greenland colonies. 
In the absence of other evidence, the statement of the Kensington Rune Stone, 
that a party of thirty men started from \'inland on an exploring tour 
westward. ma\" be understood to refer merely to a winter spent by the party 
in \'inland. or even to a temporan,- landing there, rather than to any prev- 
iously existing settlement or colony. 

According to Storm's "Studier over \'inlandsreiseme" (pages 76. •/■/). 
an expedition was sent by King Magnus from Bergen in 1355, under the 
command of Paul Knutson. into American waters, the purpose of which 
was to defend the Greenland settlements against the Eskimo. It has been 
supposed that this expedition, or a part of it. returned in 1364. 


It may be assumed that, if this stone was erected, as it claims, by 
explorers in 1362. it was set up on end, and that the lower end, where no 
runes are engraved, was buried in the ground. When it was found, accord- 
ing to the testimony of Mr. its inscribed face was downward. Now 
the lower end of the stone is not cut off squarely, but is roughly beveled 
on one side. Gravitation alone acting on a beveled stone would cause the 


base to be diverted to one side, in the same manner as a single-beveled stake 
when driven into the ground. In settling into the ground, owing to the direc- 
tion of the bevel, this stone naturally would fall with its face side upward. 
Its position therefore was determined by some other force than gravitation. 
Either it was purposely placed with the rune inscription down, which is 
not reasonable to suppose, whatever its age, or it was acted on by some other 
force which caused it to fall over forward. We cannot of course state how 
many forests have grown and been thrown down by tornadoes within the 
548 years through which it may have been in the spot ; nor how many forest 
fires have devastated the region ; nor how many buffaloes have rubbed against 
it; nor, finally, to what acts of violence the native Indians may have resorted 
to counteract its evil influences. Numerous works of the mound-building 
Indians are known in the immediate neighborhood, and they certainly would 
have discovered the monument. If they participated in the massacre of the 
ten men at the camp, they would quite certainly look upon the stone as a 
retributive threatening reminder of their pale-face victims. 

The interior of the stone is dark or dark gray. On close inspection it 
can be seen to contain many grains of quartz which are roundish, showing 
a sedimentary detrital origin. In a thin-section, prepared for microscopic 
examination, it shows not only rounded quartz grains but also feldspar grains, 
and a finer matrix consisting chiefly of quartz and biotite. The dark 
color of the stone is due to much biotite, mainly, but also to an isotropic 
green mineral (chlorite?), magnetite, and hematite. The quartz has become 
mainly re-formed by secondary growths. There is a crypto-gneissic elonga- 
tion prevalent in the mica, and also to some extent in the larger quartzes. 

The weathered surface is somewhat lighter, and yet it is firm and wholly 
intact. It is evident that the surface color has been acquired since the Glacial 
period, and therefore that some 7,000 or 8,000 years may have elapsed since 
its face was first exposed to the elements. The reverse of the inscribed side 
is more altered by weathering and carries evident older glacial striations. 

The first impression derived from the inscription is that it is of recent 
date, and not 548 years old. The edges and angles of the chiseling are sharp, 
and show no apparent alteration by weathering. The powder of the stone 
when crushed is nearly white. None of this powder is preserved in the 
runes on the face of the stone, and it is necessary therefore to allow it some 
years of age, but it is quite impossil>le to draw a decisive inference of the age 
of the inscription from that alone. The edge of the stone differs in this 
respect from the face, since most of the rune letters show the white powder 
formed bv crushing the stone. This dift'erence was said to l)e due to the fact 


that the runes on the edge had been filled with mud and had been cleaned out 
by scraping them with an iron nail. Indeed in the runes in some places on 
the edge can be seen with a pocket magnifier small quantities of fresli metallic 
iron evidently derived from that process. 

The freedom of the face of the stone from glacial marking is to be 
noted. It seems probable that the smooth jointage surface on which the 
inscription is made was of more recent date than 7,000 or 8,000 years. It 
is plain that the calcite deposit that covers a part of it was formed in a 
joint-opening before the stone was separated from its neighbor, and that it 
has had approximately as long direct exposure to the elements as the rest of 
that surface. The well preserved condition of this calcite, as a whole, no 
less than the non-glaciation of the face of the stone, indicates a period of 
exposure less than 7.000 or 8,000 years. ^larble slabs in graveyards in New- 
England are more deeply disintegrated than this calcite, when they stand 
above the surface of the ground. 

The immediate surface of the calcite, especially the edges formed by 
cutting the runes, is smoothed b\' a recent friction of some kind, much 
more than the surface of the graywacke; and this is attributable to wearing 
away when the stone served as a stepping-stone at the granary. 

If the engraved face of this stone was separated from its neighbor since 
the Glacial age, as seems certain, it must have been in some way protected 
from the action of the elements: and consequently the calcite is comparable 
with the white, fine-grained limestone boulders and pebbles that are com- 
mon in the body of the drift in that part of the state. Such boulders when 
freshly taken from the till in deep excavations are not rotted, but are fresh 
and firm and smooth as marbles, and show distinctly the fine glacial scratches 
which they received during the Ice age. which ended about 7,000 or 8,000 
years ago. When, however, they are found exposed at the surface of the 
ground, they have lost this smoothness and all the glacial marking, and their 
surfaces afiford a fine white powder of natural disintegration. As there is 
nothing of this on this calcite ( which is also the principal ingredient of the 
limestone boulders), it is evident that either the calcite has but recently been 
exposed or has been protected from the weather. If the slal) was separated 
from its neighbor 548 years ago, it must have lain with its face side down dur- 
ing the most of that period, and if separated earlier it must have been covered 
I)y drift clay. If it was so separated fifteen or thirty years ago it may have 
lain with its face side up and probably would show no more weathering 
than it now evinces. In short, there is no possible natural way to preserve 
that calcite scale from general disintegration for 548 years except to bury 


it beneath the surface. If it were not thus buried and still is intact, it must 
have been exposed and the inscription must have been made less than a hun- 
dred years ago, and probably less than thirty years ago. 

The general "mellow" color of the face of the graywacke, and of the 
whole surface of the stone, is also to be noted. This is the first apparent 
effect of weathering. Graywacke may be estimated to be fifty to a hundred 
times more durable in the weather than calcite, some graywackes being more 
resistant than others. 

There are six stages of the weathering of graywacke which are 
exhibited by the stone, and they may be arranged approximately in a scale 
as follows : 

1. A fresh break or cut o 

2. Break or cut shown b)' the runes of the face 5 

3. Edge-face, which has not been engraved, but was apparently 

dressed by a rough bush-hammering 5 

4. The inscribed face of the stone 10 

5. The finely glaciated and polished back side and the non- 

hammered portion of the edge 80 

6. The coarse gouging and the general beveling and deepest 

weathering of the back side 250 or 500 

These figures are but rough estimates and are intended to express the 
grand epochs of time through which the stone has passed since it started 
from the solid rock of which it formed a part prior to the Glacial period; 
and to a certain degree they are subject to the errors of the personal equation 
of the person who gives them. Prof. W. O. Hotchkiss, state geologist of 
Wisconsin, estimated that the time since the runes were inscribed is "at least 
50 to 100 years." If the figures in the foregoing series be all multiplied by 
100, they would stand: 

(I) (2) (3) (4~) (5) (6) 

000: 500: 500: 1,000: 8,000: 25.000 or 50,000 ■ 

Since 8.000 years is approximately the date of the end of the latest gla- 
ciation (5), the numbers may all be accepted as the approximate number of 
years required for the various stages of weathering. Hence stages (2) and 
(3) may have required each about 500 years. 

The composition of the stone makes it one of the most durable in nature, 
equalling granite, and almost equalling the dense quartzyte of the pipestone 
quarry in the southwestern part of Minnesota. On the surface of this 


quartzyte, even where exix)sed to the weather since they were formed, the 
fine glacial scratches and polishing are well preserved, and when covered bv 
drift clay they seem not to have been changed at all. 


Owing to the existence of the belief with some that the inscription was 
made by Mr. Ohman, and the rumors that seemed to confirm that suspicion, 
a member of the committee has made three separate visits to the locality, and 
has examined into all the facts that have a bearing on such supposed origin 
of the stone. There is no need to rehearse the details of this search. A 
summary revie\\-. however, seems to be called for in order that the result 
reached by the committee may be seen to be based on a thorough investigation. 

There was a rumor that a man of the name of Ohman had taken part, 
about fifteen years ago, in the exploitation of a so-called "fossil man" found 
in Marshall county, in the Red river valley. As the owners of this wonderful 
specimen disagreed and went into court to settle their dispute, the facts were 
made a matter of record. On consulting Judges Andrew Grindeland, of 
Warren, and William \^'atts, of Crookston, it was found that one of the 
parties was named O'Brien, and that his name had been confounded with 

It was rumored that Mr. Ohman had rune books, was familiar with rune 
characters, made runes on the sidewalk, on window casings and granaries, and 
was generally regarded as a "queer genius," resembling Uriah Heep, of 
Dickens. These rumors came to the committee in letters from different direc- 
tions, and on occasion of the third trip to Douglas county were met with 
not only at Kensington, but also at Elbow Lake, at Brandon, Evansville, Moe, 
and sometimes at intervening farm-houses. In order to find the truth of 
these rumors the whole region was pretty thoroughly canvassed, and a record 
was made of all information obtained. These rumors will be treated of 

Rune Books. It was found that ^fr. Ohman had a Swedish grammar, 
published in 1840, the author of which was C. J. L. Almquist, issued at 
Stockholm. This rumor was encountered by Mr. Holand, when he was in 
the neighborhood in 1907, when he procured the stone of Mr. Ohman. He 
saw the book, when Mr. Ohman was absent, as he asked Mrs. Ohman the 
privilege of examining Mr. Ohman's "library." He considered that it had 
nothing to do with the rune stone and discredited the rumor. \\'hen, more 
recently, interest in the stone became more active and the rumor became 


widespread, it was thought necessary to procure this "library," or at least 
to get the historical facts about the "rune book." It was purchased- from 
Mr. Ohman for fifty cents, although he reluctantly parted with it, and would 
be glad to have it returned to him. On the front fly-leaf is written 

Sz'. Fogclblad, 
Stockholm, d. i6 Nov. 1868. 

It is a duodecimo volume, and has 472 pages. On pages 117 and 118 
are shown sixteen rune characters in vertical column, with their correspond- 
ing names and Roman equivalents. 

j\lr. Ohman, when asked where and when he obtained this book, stated 
that he got it from Mr. Anderson, who obtained it from a preacher. This 
was on the occasion of our second visit to Mr. Ohman's house. On occasion 
of our third visit he also stated that, after the rune stone was found, Mr. 
Anderson had suggested that he should take it home for the purpose of read- 
ing the rune record by means of the rune alphabet contained in it; that he 
did so, but found more characters on the stone than in the book, and could 
not' translate the record, and that he had not returned the book. It transpired 
later that Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Ohman are cousins. 

Sven Fogelblad. When asked about the name on the fly-leaf at the 
front of the book, Mr. Ohman said that it was that of a broken-down 
preacher who used to be at Anderson's farm-house, and who was then well 
known in the surrounding region, as he got a precarious living amongst the 
farmers, partly by teaching their children in little school-gatherings, by 
binding books, and by little light jobs, but principally by charity. He was 
always poor, by reason of his fondness for intoxicating liquor. He had his 
home, so far as he could claim one, at Mr. Anderson's farmhouse, and 
when he died, which was at the age of about seventy years, in 1895 or 
1896, his books were left in the possession of Mr. Anderson. Mr. Samuel 
Olson, of Kensington, said he never saw Mr. Fogelblad, and is of the opin- 
ion that he died prior to his going there fifteen years ago. These points 
were verified by others. They were carefully followed up, because it had 
been intimated by some that Mr. Fogelblad may have traced out the runes 
for Mr. Ohman to carve on the stone, and that the "rune book" formerly 
owned by Mr. Fogelglad had been the source of the necessary knowledge. 

Mr. John A. Holvik, a student of the United Church Seminary, St. 
Anthony Park, St. Paul, had begun a search for the book which Fogel- 
±)lad left at Mt. Anderson's at the time of his death, said to have been at the 
house of Mr. Ohman and to have given aid to the engraving of the rune 


inscription, .\fter the book was obtained in the investigation by this com- 
mittee, he examined it at leisure for two or three days, and wrote the follow- 
ing letter concerning it : 

jAitcr of John A. Holvik. 

St. Autbou.v I'aik. Miiiu., April 20. 1910. 
Prof. N. H. Wiiicliell, St. Paul. 
Dear Sir: 

After comparing in detail the Kensington iuserliition with the hook bearing the 
name of Sv. Fogelblad, I am prepared to make the following statements. 

1. The book Is a grammar of modern Swedish, published in 1S40. 

2. It contains some material on the development of the language: 

(a) A system of runes: 

(b) Xoun declensions of Old and Middle Swedish; 

(c) Verb conjugations of Old and Middle Swedish; 

(d) Short selections to illustrate the language at different iieriods from A. D. 1200 
to the present time. 

(e) Selections to illustrate different dialects. 

3. The rune system Is the Futhork of sixteen characters. 'I'he rimes of the inscrip- 
tion are the later "punctuated" (stungne) runes. 

4. The declensions give the four cases for nouns in Old and Middle Swedish 
The Inscription has only nominative and genitive forms. Furthermore, the word for 
ship, used as a tji^e word in the fifth declension, is spelled skep in Middle Swedish 
The inscription has skip. 

5. The conjugation gives plural iutlectiou for all verbs in Old ami Middle Swedish 
The inscription uses singular verb forms with plural subjects. 

6. A selection from the fifteenth century gives the constructions: "wi ware . . . 
wi hafwe " The Inscription has "vi var vi har." 

7. A selection from the year 1370 gives the preposition "a." The inscription uses 
the proposition "po" (which Is objected to by some linguists). 

8. Some of the rune characters indicate (according to some ruuologists) that the- 
autlior of the Inscription must be from Dalame in Sweden. A^ selection in the book 
shows the characteristic diphthongs of the dialect of Dalarne: but a characteristic fea- 
ture of the inscription is the lack of diphthongs. 

To summarize: The difference in rune systems, and the so-called "errors'" in the 
inscription, with some parallel correct forms in the book, make it evident that there is 
no connection between the inscription on the Kensington Rune Stiuie and the book bearing 
the name Sv. Fogelblad. 

Yours truly. 

.T. A. Holvik. 


It was rumored that Mr. Ohman was a stone mason, and hence that he 
might be skillful in cutting rune letters. There seems to be no truth nor basis 
for this rumor, other than the natural desire to explain a puzzle. It may have 
ijeen suggested by someone, asked by another whether true or not, intimated 
by another, and affirmed by the fourth. Once stated as a fact, it was hence 


additional evidence, united with the possession of the rune stone and the 
alleged possession of "rune books," that Mr. Ohman made the inscription on 
the stone. Mr. Ohman is a carpenter. No one was found who knew of his 
working as a stone mason, though several were asked. 

The rumor that Mr. Ohman made rune characters on the sidewalks, on 
fences, and on granaries, asking people if they could read them, was appar- 
ently a very easy one to verify or disprove. And so it proved to be. Every- 
where, whenever this statement was made, . the question was asked whether 
the person making it ever knew of Mr. Ohman's making rune characters. 
The answer was, "No, but Mr. So-and-So can give you the facts. He lives 
at Brandon, or near Brandon." On arriving at Brandon, where the rumor 

was prevalent, I was directed to Mr. O , who was said to know more 

of the peculiar mental processes of Mr. Ohman "than any man on earth." 
He at once declared that Mr. Ohman was in the habit of making rune char- 
acters, as a joke, and "knew all about runes." Asked to state whether he him- 
self ever saw Mr. Ohman make runes at any time, disregarding the rumor, 
Mr. O. said he never had himself known of his making runes, but^that Mr. 
Gunder Johnson, about four miles farther south, had known of his making 
runes. We drove then directly to Mr. Gunder Johnson's farm. The following 
is copied from our note took, written at the time of the interview : 

••Mr. Ciiiu'er .lohuson says his little testiuiony is not worth Miiything one way or 
the other. He knew Mr. Ohninu, who built his house, about 26 or 27 years ago. Mr. 
Obujiui iiiul be were talking about old Xorske one day, and Ohman said there were old 
letters which were called nnies, and Mr. Ohmau took a pencil and made some on a 
board, sa.vini; they were runes. Mr. Johnson never knew of his making runes at any 
other time, nor of any preacher living with Ohman who made runes, nor any living 
in this country who ciuiUl make them, nor anyone passing throiigh here who could 
make them." 

Later, when Mr. Ohman, was told that people said he made runes on side- 
walks and on granaries, etc., he indignantly demanded, "Who said it?" When 
he was told that Air. Gunder Johnson stated that he had made them on a board 
when he worked for Mr. Johnson twenty-six or twenty-seven years ago, he 
denied it, but added that he "could not recall an\- conversation with Mr. John- 
son about runes," and that if at an\- time he had said anything to Mr. Johnson 
about runes, "It was I^ecause he had learned it in school in Sweden. Every 
school boy, and every Swede and Norwegian, knows something about runes, 
but not so as to use them." 

So far as we can see, therefore, the common rumor that Mr. Ohman 
made rune characters on the sidewalks and on fences, in hours of idleness, 
and was familiar with runic literature, was derived from the simple fact 


that twenty-six or twenty-seven years ago, according to Mr. Gunder John- 
son, though forgotten by Mr. Ohman, he had made some rune characters for 
Mr. Johnson with a pencil on a board when he was working on Mr. John- 
son's house as a carpenter, in order to show him the kind of letters formerly 
used by the Scandinavians. The following is also extracted from our field 
book, bearing on the existence of this rumor. 

"I fouud Mr. Guilder Jobusou a very tiilkative uiau. I recall it Ilo^^■, and record 
it for its beariug ou tlie existence and spread of tlie idea that Mr. Oliuiau knew rimes 
long ago, had a number of books on runes, and made runic characters ou the walks, 
window casings, and the granary doors about the country. I have traced up. under the 
direction of those who believed and repeated this story, all the promising lines of evidence, 
and I have fouud the report especially prevalent and detailed about Brandon, where 
Mr. Ohman lived 26 or 27 years ago. I have asked, not for the stor.v, but for positive 
statements as to whether the parties affirming the story actually knew of Mr. Ohman's 
making runes. They said they did not, except Jlr. Gunder Johnson, and some of them 
said they knew nothing about it except what emanated either from Mr. O. of Brandon 
or Mr. Gunder Johmsou. 

"The incident which seems to have given origin to the rumor was probably dormant 
until Prof. Breda and Prof. Curme pronounced the stone a fraud, and the stone had 
been returned to Ohman's farm. Then all the people began to speculate as to how 
the stone was inscribed. All minds turned to Mr. Ohman. Eighty years passed. The 
knowledge of Mr. Gunder Johnson about Jlr. Ohman's making runes, and the fact that 
he retaiiied the fraudulent stone, were coupled together and seemed to explain each other, 
springing at once into importance, I have no doubt, through Mr. Johnson. The idea was. 
very naturally, giveu broadcast. There was no other possible explanation of a fraudu- 
lent rune stone found ou Mr. Ohman's farm aud kept by him, however indifferently. 

•■Jlr. Ohman is' a rather taciturn man, and he took no pains to counteract the 
report that he was the impostor. One man said that if the rune inscription were 
genuine, it was a very valuable historic document, and any man would have made it 
well kuown as a valuable possession, the inference being that, as Mr. Ohman did not 
make it notorious, he must have known it was fraudulent. His neighbors made sport 
of him for keeping, or even for having made, a fake inscription. Mr. Gunder Johnson's 
knowledge was amplified, as such rumors grow in a farming community, and some 
intimated that, as Fogelblad was a scholar, he was the man who traced out the runes 
for Mr. Ohman to cut on the stone. 

"More lately, as it became kmiwu that Mr. Ohman had 'rune hooks.' the story 
was credited by many who had no knowledge of the case nor any personal acquaint- 
ance with Mr. Ohman; and during the last few years, when the recent renewal of inquiry 
about the stone became known by the people of this region, of course all the rumors, 
however increased in detail, were revived also, and there is no doubt that some have 
innocently spread the story, on the assumption that what was reported and was not 
denied must be true. In its exaggerated form it was sent in letters to members of this 
committee, and these letters pronqited this thorough investigation." 

Ohman is not a thrifty farmer. His premises are in disorder. His 
cattle, pigs, chickens, and his children, have a common way of approach to 
his front door, and when it is mudd\- the floor of his house is also muddy. 


There is no grading, no sidewalk, no fence, to make his home pleasant; and 
it is plain that the farm is not at its best. This Hstlessness has its influence 
in estimating the causes of the apparent neglect of Mr. Ohman to make the 
most of his discovery. After the rune stone had been pronounced a fraud 
by two professors (Breda and Curme), his interest in it extended no further 
than to insist on its return to him. A Swede farmer, in ignorance of the 
ways and means to have the inscription further investigated, not fully know- 
ing the English language, and having no spare money to use in a doubtful 
quest, he was obliged to let the stone rest in his yard uncared for. 

It should not be inferred from the foregoing discussion of "rumors,'" 
as to Mr. Ohman's agency in fabricating the rune inscription, that there is a 
prevalent opinion connecting him with it. Most of the people, and especially 
his neighbors, believe that these rumors are baseless, and affirm their con- 
fidence in Mr. Ohman as well as in the genuineness of the rune stone. It is 
chiefly at a distance from Ohman's farm, and among strangers, that these 
rumors are sustained by those who have curiosity enough to form opinions 
about the discovery. The pastor, Rev. Mr. Saethre, of the church where 
Mr. Ohman's children were confirmed, said that Mr. Ohman came to that 
vicinity, to his knowledge, later than himself, which was twenty-five years 
ago. He is confident that Mr. Ohman, whom he had known ever since he 
came to his farm, "is utterly incapable of making the inscription." He has 
never heard that Mr. Ohman traveled about and made runes on the sidewalks 
and granaries in idle hours, nor has he ever heard of a clergyman in that 
region who did so. 


As it is well established that a poplar tree grew in the soil above the 
stone, it is plain that the size of the tree has a direct bearing on the possible 
fabrication of the inscription by Mr. Ohman, or by any person since Mr. 
Ohman located on the farm. Mr. Samuel Olson, of Kensington, who was of 
the party that excavated in the earth where the stone was found, in the spring 
of 1899, expecting to find the remains of those who were massacred, made 
from memory a pencil sketch of the stump and roots of the tree as they 
appeared at that time. 

No one was found who questioned the existence of this tree, nor the flat- 
ness of the roots caused by long contact on the stone. Indeed, one man who 
regarded Mr. Ohman as the possible maker of the inscription stated that he 
saw the roots and that thev were flattened on one side. 


Tlie shortest time that has been assigned to the growth of the tree is ten 
years. 'Sir. Ohman took the first part of his farm in 1890. The stone was 
found in the fall of 1898 on that portion of his farm which was the earliest 
deeded to him, and which he received by warranty deed from Halvor Stehson. 
If Mr. Ohman is responsible for the stone, he must have buried it with its 
face downward in sufficient soil at once to support a young tree, and the tree 
would have had the period of eight years to attain the size which it had in 
1898; and if the tree were as large as most of those who saw it have testified 
to, its growtb in eight years is put entirely outside of possibility. It would 
then be possible still to presume that the stone was put there during the owner- 
ship of the land by Mr. Stenson. The committee has taken no steps to ascer- 
tain the truth that might be in such a hypothesis, nor to learn anything of the 
antecedents of the land earlier than the record of the deeds to Mr. Ohman. 


The foregoing sketch of the facts of the finding of the stone, and of the 
attendant conditions, embraces everything of importance that has come within 
the scope of our inquiry. It may be well, before leaving this part of the subject 
to call attention to some obvious inferences which bear on the question of the 
authenticity of the stone. 

1. The inscription was made upon a boulder of gra3'wacke found in 
the near vicinity. 

2. The inscribed face of the stone has not passed through even the 
latest glaciation, but the opposite side shows such glaciation that it may have 
witnessed two ice-epochs. The boulder had been split along an old jointage 
plane, and the inscription is mainly on the resultant even face. The inscribed 
edge was also, doubtless, caused by a jointage plane, Init appears to have 
been shaped by hammering. 

3. The inscribed face api>ears weathered so as to indicate that it was 
separated from its companion piece perhaps several thousand years ago (but 
has not been glaciated), or was affected by water that entered along the 
joint-opening for a long time before such separation. The preservation of 
the calcite scale shows that since its separation it has been protected from 
the weather. 

4. Two remarkable boulders are at the end of a sharp point, at the 
southwestern side of Pelican lake, and though they are not now surrounded 
by water, they probably were so five hundred and forty-eight years ago, and 


may stand for the "skerries" referred to in the inscription. If the inscription 
is modern, the engraver could hardly refer to these boulders as "skerries." 
They are about twenty miles north of the place where the stone \vas found. 

5. The stone was found on an elevation surrounded with a swamp, 
and it is in keeping with a slow known physical change to suppose that the 
elevation- was formerly surrounded by water, and that the term "inland" was 
appHcable. If the inscription is modern, the engraver must have known that 
five hundred and forty-eight years ago this elevation was an island. 

6. The sea was said to be fourteen days' journey distant from the place 
of the stone. The sea at Hudson bay is about that distance from Douglas 
county, for a canoe party descending the Nelson river. If parties reached 
Minnesota by that route they must have brought boats with them by way of 
Lake Winnipeg and the Red river of the North. It is not easy to see any 
reason for their leaving the regular watercourse and taking their boats across 
the country to Pelican lake, but if they were fishing on Pelican lake they 
must have had boats. At Pelican lake they would have been about twenty- 
five miles from the nearest point of the Red river of the North. 

7. When found, the face of the stone was down. On any supposition 
as to the maker of the inscription it seems to be necessary to assume that it 
was not originally placed in that position. Owing to the easy disintegration 
of calcite in the weather, it is evident that the inscription is either recent or 
the stone was so placed ( or was overturned ) as to protect the inscription 
from the weather. 

8. The age of the tree which was growing on the stone seems to show 
that the inscription was made prior to the occupancy of the farm by \lr. 

9. Air. Fogelblad, whom rumor has associated with the stone, died in 
1895, three years prior to the finding of the stone. The tree must have 
started to grow on the stone at least as early as 1888, according to the short- 
est estimate of its age. The committee has not learned the date of 'Sir. Fogel- 
blad's coming to the region, not deeming it important. The relation of the 
rune stone to the Swedish grammar owned by Mr. Fogelblad at the time of 
his death is expressed by Mr. Holvik. According to his opinion, the liook 
could not have been the source of the information necessar}' to construct 
the inscription. 

10. If the stone is fraudulent, it seems neces.sary to exonerate both 
Mr. Fogelblad and Mr. Ohman from the imposition, (See the Appendix.) 



The inscription has been acceptably translated as follows : 

Eight Goths and twenty-two Norwegians upon a journey 
of discovery from Vinland westward. We had a camp by two 
skerries one day's journey north from this stone. We were 
out fishing one day. When we returned home, we found ten 
men red with blood and dead. A. \\ M., save us from evil. 

Have ten men by the sea to look after our vessels four- 
teen days" journey from this island. Year 1362. 

Without reference at this time to the language used, and not consider- 
ing the peculiarities of the grammatical inflections, it may be worth while 
to take a general view of the record. 

One is struck first with the simplicity of the statements and the omis- 
sion of non-important details. This simplicity, unfortunately for the his- 
torical value of the record, goes so far as to omit the name of the leader of 
the party, as well as that of the patron or king who may have sent it out. 

It is a mixed party, of Swedes and Norwegians. By reason of the 
order in which these are mentioned it is probable that the scribe was a Swede, 
since he names them first, although composing only about one-quarter of 
the whole party. 

The party started from Vinland, a very remarkable statement in the 
light of the fact that it is not known, even at this day, that a permanent 
or even a temporary colony was established in Vinland. The expression 
"from Vinland" may mean in a direction westward from Vinland. In the 
light of the results of Professor Fernald's studies on the "Plants of Wine- 
land the Good," it is remarkable, if the stone is fraudulent, that the location 
of \'inland, by the statements of the record, should agree with the location 
of that countrv liv Fernald. since all modern (and even earlier) descriptions 
of \inland have placed \'inland either in Nova Scotia or in Massachusetts.. 
Could it have been a random and accidental coincidence, that a fraudulent 
record should correct the current historical belief of the times? How -could 
an impostor come to the knowledge that Vinland was nowhere except in 
Labrador or at least in the region about the entrance to Hudson strait? 
What credit could be given to his record by going counter to the accepted 
history of his time? This agreement with the latest research as to the 
location of Vinland is a very suggestive fact. 

They went "westward" from X'inland. and they had their s]ii])s till 


within fourteen days' journey of the end of their exploration, when they 
left them "at the sea." with ten men to guard them. If the record be fraudu- 
lent, what reason could there be for saying that their camp was fourteen 
days' journey from the sea? How much more probable it would be to say 
that their camp was forty days or even two months' journey from the sea. 
especially if \"inland was where it has been thought to be; and how much 
more probable that an impostor would not attempt to make a definite state- 
ment. If the record is fraudulent, the impostor was very foolish not only 
in giving the distance of their camp from the sea, but also in saying how far 
it was north from the stone. Not only so, but he attempted, more foolishly, 
to give guides to the exact location of the camp by saying it was "near two 
skerries." If the stone had been noticeably more than one day's march from 
those skerries, or if the camp had been noticeably nearer or more distant 
than fourteen days' journey from "the sea," there would be much doubt 
thrown upon the record b}- such a discrepancy. 

The exactness with which the location of the camp is described can be 
attributed to the probable burial of the ten men at the camp, and the natural 
desire to describe geographically the place of the bloody massacre of ten of 
their comrades; while the agreement of this exactness with the facts in 
nature shows how improbable it was for a faker runologist to have made the 
inscription. If the record be fraudulent, it is a remarkable fact that those 
two skerries exist, and at the right distance, and that there are no others. 

It is still more remarkable, on the hypothesis that the stone is fraudu- 
lent, that within modern times they could not be called skerries, as they are 
not now surrounded by water. Hence the impostor-scribe was not only a 
runologist, but he was able to look backward through the physical change 
that has come over the region, and to describe those boulders as they were 
five hundred and forty-eight years ago, when there is no doubt that the 
water of the lake was so high as to surround them and thus warrant the 
description which he made of them. He must have been a geologist. 

If the record is fraudulent, it is also remarkable that the impostor could 
see that five hundred and forty-eight years ago the hill on which the stone 
was placed was surrounded by water so as to warrant the application of the 
term "island." He must have known, and must have made allowance for the 
fact, that within recent time the country has dried up considerably, and that 
what are now marshes were then lakes. 

If the stone be fraudulent, it is singular that the impostor ran the risk 
of all these details and violated none of them. A well considered fraud is 
usuallv characterized bv the omission of details. Here was a reckless and a 


fearlessness amongst details which l>etoken honesty and truth. The very dis- 
crepancies, where the details di\erge from present geographic knowledge, 
when correctly understood are turned to so many points of confirmation. 

"We were out fishing one day." That is a remarkable and rather singular 
statement, especially if the stone be fraudulent, since the fishing was on a lake 
twenty miles distant from the place at which the inscription was made. Again, 
they must have had boats. There is no reference to them. Where could 
they have got' boats ? Not a word is said as to how they reached tlie place 
where they were encamped, nor as to the direction to the sea. Such links as 
are necessary to make a connected and reasonable story would certainly be 
given by an impostor. But here the briefest statement is made of the lead- 
ing facts, and the reader is left to connect them as best he can. We are not 
at a loss to supply the links. The boats must have been birch bark canoes, 
used to this day by the northern Indians, easy to propel in the water and 
easy to "portage" over the land. 

"We found ten men red with blood and dead." That is a remarkable 
statement. Why should the fact of the gory appearance of the dead men be 
stated at all? and especially why should it be stated before stating the fact of 
death? The murderers are not mentioned nor indicated. These peculiari- 
ties in the record may be explained b\- attributing the massacre to Indians, 
with whom they may have had some dealing. The appearance of the bloody- 
corpses implies the scalping knife. The appearance of the bodies is stated 
before the fact of their death, and must have made a deep impression on the 
explorers, although it is probable that the men were dead before they were 
scalped. If the stone is fraudulent, it is singular that, within modern times, 
when the scalping of white men by Indians is a familiar fact, the massacre 
should be described in that manner. An impostor would hardly observe the 
nicety of the significance in inverting the terms of description, or that of 
mentioning the bloody appearance of the dead at all. 

Then comes the most remarkable feature of this remarkable inscription. 
"A. \'. AI." Hail, Virgin Mary! or Ave Maria. This is a distinctly Catholic 
expression. According to Archbishop Ireland, no modern Scandinavian 
would utter it, as they are Lutherans. It would be strictly appropriate in 
1362. If the stone be fraudulent, the impostor artfully emplo\ed a term 
suitable to the date of the inscription; but we would hardly expect an im- 
postor, such as this man must have been, to be so religious as to call on Mary, 
or on any of the gods of the Vikings, or on any of the saints of Christianity. 
On the supposition that the stone is fraudulent, this is a decided anachron- 
ism and would hardly be introduced by an impostor. 



If the stone is fraudulent, the base perpetrator was artful enough to 
make use of rune characters appropriate to the date 1362. The ancient 
runes are sixteen in number, according to the grammar of Almquist. The 
inscription contains several characters not found in the old runic alphabet, 
and some that are peculiar to itself or to some locality. 

Rev. O. A. Norman, of Ashby, called our attention to a singular coinci- 
dence, viz., the frequency of the expression calling upon Mary, in Scandi- 
navia, at the time of the "black death," which prevailed in the fourteenth 
century. A poem or song, entitled "Fornesbronen," was recited at the burials 
of the many dead, and appears to have become well known. It was lately 
reprinted in a brochure at Fergus Falls, Minnesota, entitled "Telesoga." 
Each verse ends with an appeal to Mary to grant help and freedom from 
evil. The sudden and bloody death of ten of their comrades seems to have 
impressed the living in a manner similar to the mysterious death of the black 
plague. If the stone be fraudulent, the impostor seems to have been aware of 
the prevalence of that prayer in the fourteenth century, and very shrewdly 
appended it at the proper place in this inscription. 

It appears, from several considerations, that the scribe was a rather 
illiterate Swede. If the stone be fraudulent, it is singular that such a man 
should prove himself capable of such literary and historical knowledge, and 
of such artiful cunning. If the stone be fraudulent, it seems necessary to 
suppose that a non-educated Swede should be able to make the inscription and 
to accomplish the following: 

1. A simple, straightforward record. 

2. Correct the prevalent notion as to the whereabouts of Vinland. 

3. Refer to two skerries, which could not have existed when the record 
was made but did exist five hundred and forty-eight years ago. 

4. Refer to an island, which was not an island when the stone was in- 
scribed, but was so five hundred and forty-eight years ago. 

5. Define exactly the location of the camp with reference to the seaside 
and with reference to the •stone. 

6. Describe the massacre in such a way as to indicate that the men were 
scalped by Indians, although no mention is made of Indians. 

7. Make the prayer to the Virgin Mary common in Scandinavia in 1362, 
but anachronistic iij the nineteenth century. 

8. As an impostor, utter the common prayer of a devout Catholic of 
the fourteenth century. 

9. Use in part some ancient runic characters instead of those common 
in later centuries. 



10. All this deceit and laborious cunning, without any ascertainable 
motive, perpetrated in an unpopulated, or at most only a sparsely inhabited, 
region amongst a wilderness of forests. 


Notwithstanding these considerations, which point toward the genuine- 
ness of the Kensington Rune Stone, there are linguistic objections, which, it 
is claimed, are insurmountable. It is claimed by those who are expert in the 
Scandinavian languages, and who present those difficulties, that linguistic 
evidence is paramount in importance, and that other considerations are pertin- 
ent only after the linguistic objections are removed. 

A summary statement of these objections is about as follows : 

Certain words not in use in Sweden at the date given the inscription, viz. : 

opdagclsc. It is pointed out that this word is not in Sodervall's diction- 
ary, nor in that of Kalkar, the latter being a dictionary of the old Danish 
(and Swedish) language covering the years 1300 to 1700, and that in modern 
Swedish the word opdage is uppdaga; that "opdagclsc" is made by adding to 
the root the suffix else, which in the form ilsi is not found in Swedish or Dan- 
ish prior to 1300; that "opdage" itself is a borrowed word, allied to the Dutch 
opdagen and the German cntdcckcn; and that, if it had existed in 1362, its only 
meaning could have been dazmiing. 

po, which appears twice in the inscription. This word, derived from 
iipp a becomes pa and paa. and in Sodervall's dictionary is said to date from 
about 1400, and to have, in the older Swedish, only the active sense, "to 
designate an action by some one, or a condition or state of a person," which 
is not the sense in which it is used here. 

laeger is objected to as a word in Swedish at the date of 1362, on the 
ground that it shows a Germanic influence, dating from the sixteenth cen- 
tury or later, its earliest date in Kalkar being 1534. 

dag is, on the stone, thag (or dhug), meaning day, but in 1362 d had 
supplanted dh and should have been used. The use of "the thorn" (the 
rune (?) for dh or th or d) indicated a modern Swede runologist. The 
same objection lies against dh in opdagelse. J 'inland, and dcd. and other 

vorc skip should have been written voruui skipiiiii, to agree with the lan- 
guage of Sweden in 1362. 

har, var, kom, and fan, are first person plurals, as used, and should 
have the ending om. viz., haf thorn (or hathom), zvroin, koiiioiii. and funnom. 


These would have been found in the "Mariaklagan," had any first person 
plurals been used in the part with which comparison is made, since in the 
third person plurals found in it the full inflectional endings are used. 

dcd (or theth, or dhedth) should have been dodh, and is apparently a 
reflection of the English word "ded." 

from is English 

mails is an incorrect plural English word for men. 

is written with c rune inside an o. o appears for the first time in 


In short, the language of the stone, it is claimed, is a mixture of 
modern Swedish, Norwegian, and English. 

It is fortunate for the cause of historic truth, no less than for linguistic 
criticism applicable to the inscription of this stone, that quite a number of 
American as well as some European experts in runes and in Scandinavian 
literature have given close attention to this stone, and have afforded their 
aid to the committee in their efforts to reach a warrantable conclusion as 
to the authenticity of the record for the date which it claims. The commit- 
tee has also taken advantage of the published opinions of others, so far 
as we have learned of them, whenever such opinions have been based on 
specific and critical linguistic points. A mere "opinion," pro or con, has 
been passed by without consideration; for it is plain that not only the labor 
would be practically endless should the committee entertain unsupported 
opinions, but that in the end the result would be based on other's opinions 
and would not be a creditable and judicial consideration of the problems 
with which the committee is charged. 

The following eminent and critical scholars have aided the committee, 
and to them the thanks of the Historical Society are due : 

Helge G jessing, University of Christiania, Norway. 

Hjalmar Rued Holand, Ephraim, Wisconsin. 

O. J. Breda, Christiania, Norway, formerly of the University of Min- 

George O. Curme, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. 

Chester N. Gould, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. 

Rasmus B. Anderson, Madison, Wisconsin. 

Dr. Knut Hoegh, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Gisle Bothne, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. 

John O. Evjen, Augsburg Seminary, Minneapolis. 

Andrew Possum, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. 

P. P. Iverslie, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 


George T. Flom, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois. 

Julius E. Olson, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. 

J. A. Holvik, United Church Seminary, St. Anthony Park, St. Paul, 

Olaf Huseby, Norwegian journalist and author, Fosston, ^Minnesota. 

J. J. Skordalsvold, Minneapolis, Minnesota, formerly professor of Nor- 
wegian Literature in Augsburg Seminary. 

O. E. Hagen, Meridian, Wisconsin, formerly professor in the Uni- 
versity of South Dakota, Vermilion, South Dakota. 

It is needless to say that among these there is divergence of testimony. 
and sometimes contrary, not only in the results which they have reached, 
but sometimes in their estimates of the value of the linguistic peculiarities 
of the language of the inscription. 

With one exception, the members of the committee are all linguistic 
scholars and are capable of judging the force of linguistic arguments, pro 
and con, and we have attempted to compare judicially the evidence that has 
been adduced. 

It should be remarked at the outset that the argument against the rune 
inscription is like this : As the translation of the Bible in King James' version 
does not employ the words boy or girl, but instead uses lad and danisel, if 
a book purporting to be a copy of the King James version were found to 
contain the words boy and girl, it would at once be classed as fraudulent. 
Likewise if words are found in the Kensington rune stone inscription which 
were not in use in 1362, the inscription is fraudulent. But it is evident 
at once that such a comparison of these cases involves a possible error. 
Two books actually in print can be compared with preciseness, and one can 
be pronounced a fraud with positiveness when it does not agree with its 
prototype. In the case of this stone, a definite inscription is to be com- 
pared with a "usage," and it is the wide uncertainty of that usage that 
gives rise to the variety of evidence and opinion. 

It should be remarked also that the usage with which the stone may 
be compared may be that of a considerable period of time, say a whole 
century; it mav be that of high-class and dignified literature, or that of 
common or ordinary writing, or that even of everyday speech. It is plain, 
therefore, that it is important to determine the standard to which the inscrip- 
tion ought to show a conformity. It should also be remembered that, 
as in English, these standards change from one into the other with lapse 
of time. A usage which was prevalent only in common speech, say in 
the fourteenth century, might be found in literature in the fifteenth cen- 


tury, and in the more dignified language of legal documents not till the 
sixteenth century. As our slang words creep slowly into literature, and 
finally are recognized in the standard dictionaries, so the colloquial terms 
and usage of the Swedish gradually came into use in the higher type of 

It is agreed by all, so far as we have learned, that the inscription, 
whether false or genuine, was niade by a Swede and a rather unlettered 
man, a good mechanic, and probably from ancient Gothland, now the south 
part of Sweden, or from Visby, on the island of Gothland, where foreigners 
were numerous from all commercial points in Europe. In such a city the 
influence of foreign languages would be apparent and more pronounced 
than in any other part of Sweden, except perhaps Stockholm. If the 
engraver of the inscription were an unlettered Swede, it appears that the 
standard with which it should be compared is not that of high-class standard 
literature, whether legal documents, educational treatises, or poems, but 
more reasonably the colloquial vernacular of Gothland. It would be neces- 
sary to allow for some effect of German and perhaps English contiguity. 
Hence, as the stone claims to date from the fourteenth century, it is reason- 
able to compare it with the colloquial usage of that century. 

Here arises another important consideration, viz., the fourteenth cen- 
tury was a period of change and confusion, arising from the introduction 
of Christianity. Here was in full swing the tradition to the modern forms 
and usages. Indeed the language of Sweden and Denmark in the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries "was much like that of the present." and, "to that 
degree agrees with the new that nothing except an occasional business or 
law expression will stop a reader of the present." This change was not 
accomplished without much irregularity, and perhaps this is most apparent 
in the fourteenth century. The German language made a powerful impress 
on the Swedish. Dahlerup declares, "Never has our language received 
so- great influence from abroad (especially Middle Low German) as it 
received in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries." Those irregularities 
consisted in a more or less prevalent dropping of case ending, disregard of 
grammatical agreements, especially in common speech, and differences of spell- 

With these facts in mind, we will examine in succession the difticult 
linguistic points whicli we have already mentioned. 

opdagclsc is claimed to be a modern word. It is a serious objection to 
this word that it is not found in two standard dictionaries, Sodervall's 
and especially Kalkar's, the latter purporting to be a dictionary of the old 


Danish (and Swedish) language, covering the years 1300 to 1700. The 
root of the word was known, also the prefix op (upp), and the suffix else 
(Use). It was a neuter verb, signifying to appear, to dawn. In the inscrip- 
tion it has an active significance, to discover. Yet Kalkar gives a quotation 
dating from 1634 in which this word appears in its active sense, viz., "Et skib 
med rofoere for landit var opdaget" (A vessel zvith pirates was discov- 
ered off shore). The fact that the date of this quotation is 1634 does 
not show that this signification of this word was not in earlier use, for 
Kalkar gives numerous other quotations witth dates showing similar Ger- 
man influence, dated later than their known earhest use, as follows : 

understanda is dated 1610, but is found in Den Jydskc Lov of 1241. 
(Brandt, Gammeldanska Lasebog, 1856, p. 29, Hne 15.) 

ophange in dated 1575, used in a provision of Waldemar Seier of 1250 
(itto, 41, 3, as uphengia.) 

opladlia, dated by Kalkar 1550, used in a diploma of 1329 (ditto, yj, 
5, as itplader) ; and numerous others. 

Kalkar's dictionary was not complete. He is now compiling a sup- 
plement, which will contain hundreds of words missed by him in his first 
edition. The following, similar to opdagelsc, may be mentioned, in use 
about 1400, which were omitted by Kalkar: opfostrc, upfodde. opbrande, 
opraettilsae, forymmels, paa>nindelse (ditto, 98, line 23; 169, 8; 168, 6). 
This shows simply that opdagelse may have been one of the common words 
omitted by Kalkar, and therefore that the absence of this word in Kalkar's 
Danish dictionary is not certain evidence that it was not in use in Gothland 
in 1362, at least in common speech; for, as has been remarked already, 
the standard dictionaries of any language are the last to recognize innovations, 
such as this appears to have been, from other languages. 

We fail to see the force of the objections to opdagelse in the fact that 
the modern Swedish for opdage is uppdaga. The use of the older word 
seems to us rather to be a difficulty in assigning the inscription to modern 

The difficulty with po in the inscription consists of two parts : ( i ) 
It is used earlier than is recognized by Sodervall's dictionary ; and ( 2 ) 
it is used correctly to designate "an action by some one, or a condition 
or state of a person," which is thought to be not the sense in which it is 
used here. 

The fact that Sodervall's dictionary assigns this word to "about 1400" 
is in some degree an objection to its use in 1362; yet, if it be recalled that in 
common speech nian\- words are in use long before they are recognized 


in standard literature and in dictionaries, and that the difference of -time 
here amounts to only thirty-eight years, it appears to the committee that the 
word po was more likely than not to have been known and used at the 
date assigned to the rune stone. In the middle of the fourteenth century, 
moreover, we find pa, po, and upa, used side by side. 

As to the significance of the word po (on), used as a preposition before 
the word opdagelse, its force, as defined by the objectors, is to be inferred 
from the connection. "On a journey of discovery" implies a verb such as 
going, and if that be supplied the phrase reads "going on a journey of dis- 
covery," which gives the preposition exactly the sense required. 

Again, it is quite likely that in pronunciation pa, the original word which 
became paa, was sounded so nearly like po that the unlettered scribe pre- 
ferred po to any other spelling. Further, as there was no rune character for 
aa, this sound was commonly expressed by the rune for o. 

laeger. The original Norse form was legr, but in Swedish the e became 
a, and under the influence of German contact the word took the form of 
laeger, or lager. It is assumed by the objectors that this final form was 
due to the sixteenth century and hence could not have been used in 1362; 
but Falk and Torp state that in Swedish-Danish the transition from e to a 
took place about 1200 (Lydhistorie, Kristiania, 1898, page 11, No. 2). 

It is further objected to this word that in the sense here employed 
(camp) it was not employed in 1362, but meant burial place or lying together; 
yet Kalkar illustrates it in the sense used in the inscription, viz., "The 
angels of the Lord built their camp round about them : Herrins engel slaar 
lagre omkring tlicnnom" (date of this writing, 1524?). This dictionary 
covers the period from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. 

dhag, opdhagelse, J'inlandh, dhed, and other words in the inscription, 
are spelled with the rune character, called thorn. It is claimed that the 
more modern character for d had supplanted the "thorn" in 1362, and ought 
to have been used. The thorn was usually used at this time for both th 
and dh; but it appears that t was gradually supplanting th, and d was taking 
the place of dh. It is plain from all sides that the thorn, used exclusively 
on the inscription, was warrantable as a character either for that dental 
which was sounded th, or for that which was sounded by dh. At the same 
time, so far as we can learn, the distinct character for d had a recognized 
existence: but whether there was any rule or regulated practice, in 1362, as 
to the use of it for d. we have been unable to find out. No one has referred 
to any regulated practice, and it seems to us that any criticism demanding 
the exclusive use of the character for d in 1362 where the inscription shows 


dh, should be supported by such a rule. There is not a word in the inscrip- 
tion which calls for the dental sound th, and it is hence plain that where the 
thorn sign is used it was intended to take the place of the sign for dh 
(or for d). 

Further, while the character was used at the time, it occurs so rarely 
that it seems most runesmiths were ignorant of its existence or ignored it. 
For instance, it does not occur a single time in the twenty-six Swedish 
and Danish runic inscriptions from the middle period quoted by Vigfussen 
on pages 447-449 of his "Icelandic Reader and Grammar." The thorn 
however occurs I42 times in these same inscriptions. It appears also that 
there was great latitude in the use of this character, in that it not only 
commonly represented th and dh, but also frequently d, and even t. In 
inscription No. 4, on page 448, we find ristu spelled with the "thorn" instead 
of the t. Therefore, while it might have l:>een accessible in elementary text- 
liooks. the writer of' the inscription has shown a close agreement even with 
written usage in Sweden in the middle ages, by using the "thorn" exclusively. 
Had / only been used, that character, as it seems to the committee, would 
have constituted a greater objection than the exclusive use of the "thorn." 

hadhe, har, var, kom, and fan. These are unquestionably verb forms 
of the first plural, past tense {har is present), used by the rune-maker, 
and purporting to be from the date of 1362. The validity of these forms 
is questionable. It is evident that if fraudulent these abbreviated terms might 
be those which the inscriber of the stone would employ in the nineteenth 
century. The committee are of the opinion that if these five verb forms 
cannot be satisfactorily explained, the stone will be suspected as a forgery. 
They have therefore given particular attention to the question whether such 
abbreviations were warrantable in the year 1362. 

The statement has been made already, in general terms, that this was 
a period in the histor}' of the Danish- Swedish and Danish-Norse lan- 
guages when great confusion prevailed, because of a tendency toward the 
modern usages, and it would be possible to assign such verb changes to that 
general statement. The committee, however, have thought that, owing to 
the sweeping character of this difficulty, it would be well to disregard the 
general principle, and to find, if possible, examples in practice dating irom 
the fourteenth centur}-, of such verb changes as are here shown by the rune 

Dahlerup, commenting on this period, says: "Numerous verb forms, 
especially in documents showing Jutland influences, show that the speech 
undoubtedly in many parts [of the country] had given up the logical use of the 


plural forms" ( Det Danske Sprogs Historic, p. 33). As an example of this 
he quotes: "Allc fugle son hedder voliicres pa Latin," "the faar," "the 
gik," "the kan," "I seer," etc. In all these illustrations we find singular 
verbs with plural subjects. We have other examples of this, as in a letter 
of 1340, which begins, "Alloc )nen thettac href ser eller hor' (Brandt's 
Lasebog, p. 79, line i). Similarly a letter of 1329 begins, Allae ma£n thet- 
tae href ser aeldaer horaer (ditto, yy, i). This shows at least that the 
old classic rule, that the inflectional ending of the verb must agree with 
its subject, was not maintained in the four-teenth century. The third per- 
son plural preterite for hafa is hofdu; but as early as 1200 we find JVitherlax 
men hamdhe honum uraet giort" (Kong Knuts Viderlagsret in Brandt's 
Lasebog, p. 39, line i). Gamle Kong Eriks Kronike, written about 1320, 
says, "The hado upotith therra maat" (Svenska Medeltidens Rim-Kronikor, 
G. E. Klemmings's edition, Stockholm, 1865, first part, line 1514; see also 
line 2581). Upsala Kronike, of the fourteenth century, reads, "hadae moss 
[plural] acdct opp oxen som I'ar of osth giord (Hunde Kongen og Snio in 
Hallenberg, No. 51, also cjuoted in Brandt's Lasebog, p. y2, line i). In 
Mandevilles Reiser, of about 1400, we similarly find hadhc: "ikcae Jiadhae vy 
. . . .frem kommit" (Brandt's Lasebog, 123, 10); "ta tct hadae gongit 
Iioos tho milae," etc., (ditto, 122, 16). See also the frequent use of "the 
hade." they had, in Svenske Medeltidens Rim-Kronikor. 

As to the form has, here used in place of the regular full inflectional 
haffvom, we find that in many, perhaps in most, writings of the fourteenth 
century, the termination of the first person plural, vom, had largely disap- 
peared. It is retained, however, in an important work dating from 1320, 
Gamle Eriks Kronike, where also nearly all the old endings are preserved. 
Instead of haffvom, we find the modern forms hm'e or haver; but, according 
to Falk and Thorp, for a long time the i> was elided in pronunciation, mak- 
ing lia and har, or was replaced, even in the fourteenth century, h\ », the 
following e being dropped. Thus: "lak haur of herrana hort" (Gamble 
Eriks Kronike, 1320, Klemming's ed., line 4404) ; "Thet haur konnng Bierge 
giort" (ditto, line 4480). The rhythm also shows that it was pronounced 
as a single syllable. Similarly in a diploma of 1386 we read, "Wi have tint 
oc lathet ivore kerae bytndn (Brandt's Lasebog, p. 79, line 18). In a letter 
of Queen Margaret, of 1339, we read: "Meth al thene rat som han og 
honiies fathir thcr til hawe haft og hawe." In the last two instances u 
(or T') is Ti', which also illustrates the confusion which has, in all modern 
languages, attended those half consonants. In the next, u is plainly and 
simply used for v. In a book of remedies, about 1360, we read "J]'i Iiaita 


nu talet ok sagt oc screiv'dt thct som tharyekt ar" (Molbech's Ordbog, xlix) ; 
also, "Thorn ther hauer howeth wdrk," etc. (ditto, xlix). 
Summarizing oiir inquiry on this word, we find : 

(a) that the plural hafvom had been largely dropped in the four- 
teenth century; 

(b) that the singular for haver had largely superseded it; 

(c) that according to Falk and Torp, eminent philologists, this v has 
long been dropped phonetically; 

(d) that haur, the immediate phonetic predecessor of har, occurs sporadi- 
cally in Gamle Eriks Krliinike, the ablest literary work of the times, written 
in 1320. 

If we add to this a probable advance in phonetic and grammatic develop- 
ment in the region of Gothland, there seems to be no longer remaining any 
valid objection to the use of the spelling seen on the stone. 

It should further be borne in mind that the author of this inscription, 
if it be genuine, would be extremely unlikely to be an educated literary man, 
but rather a plain man of action. As such he would write as he spoke. On 
the contrary an impostor of today, trying to reproduce the language of an 
ancient period, could only be a philologist, and would try to follow the liter- 
ary usage of the time, instead of employing forms adapted to his own day. 
The apparently modern, but defensible, use of the word har, is therefore, 
in the opinion of this committee, good evidence of the phonetic authorship 
of the record in the fourteenth century. 

var is the first person plural, used for the old and regular form varum. 
The discussion of har applies largely to this word. In the fourteenth century 
it was the common form. In the chronicle of the Danish kings, written 
about 1250 and 1300, we find the singular and plural forms struggling side 
by side. In line 12 we read, Hialti ok Birghi var i hans tiina." while in line 
15 we read, "Slenge ok Vege varu i hans tima." After this time the singular 
var is dominant. Many illustrations could be given of plural subjects used 
with the singular var. Var is frequently seen in the form vare, as "tha vare 
wi acy fraelstc aff helvedis nodh" (devotional jxiem from alx)ut 1425, Brandt's 
Lasebog, p. 262, 8). 

koiii is used for koiiiiiion, the plural ending, like others already dis- 
cussed, having dropped off in the period under discussion. 

fail. This form, although we have no examples to quote, may be assumed 
to have been used for the old plural form, analogous to koin, var, and har. 

dhcdh {or dcdh). The use of c for ac, in the fourteenth century, or vice 
versa, was frequent. Hence the uncritical maker of the inscription did not 


pass beyond the warrant of his time. The Danish dialect had dcd in 1390. 
It is evident that the thorn must have been intended here to express the 
symbol dh (th as in this, and .not tli as in thistle), which irt English found its 
equivalent in d, and in German in the word todt. The spelling of this word 
may have been influenced somewhat by a knowledge of the English pro- 
nunciation of the same word, and by the Danish ded. 

from in its form is English. It is given, however, by Falk and Torp's 
Etymologisk Ordbog, as occurring sporadically in the old Swedish, meaning 
from. The easy phonetic substitution of for long a or aa is so apparent 
in this word that it needs no efifort at explanation. The letter m, however, 
is in this place quite antique, unless it is adopted directly from the English, 
and seems to furnish an argument for the authenticity of the stone rather 
than against it. 

fn the old Aurlancrs church in Sogn, Norway, completed in the Catholic 
time, about 1300, there was a pair of very small panes of glass. The two 
panes were a present to the church "from" so-and-so. When the church was 
razed, the panes were bought by an enlightened gentleman in the district, 
and they may be found safely treasured there yet. 

The work entitled "Gamle Eriks Kronike" was the product of some writer 
living in that part of Sweden known as Vestgotland, written about 1320. This 
work contains a great many of the words of the inscription, used in the same 
meaning. This was perhaps the home of the Goter mentioned in the inscrip- 

This inquiry might be extended so as to include several other words 
that have been criticised, but as we have brought under review the chief of 
the objections from a linguistic point of view, we deem it unnecessary to 
go further into details. 

From the examination of the language of the stone the committee 
think that the)- are warranted in making the following conclusions : 

1. It cannot be the work df some unlettered amateur of the present 

2. It is either the uncritical record of an exploration of the fourteenth 
century, or the fabrication of a consummate philologist familiar with the 
dialect of Vestgotland in the fourteenth century, which was essentially the 
Dalske dialect of Dalarne of the sixteenth century. 

3. No expert philologist would make the blunder of writing dcd for 
d'od. A modern philologist familiar with the evolution of from an would 
hardly make such an error, but such phonetic mistakes were common among 
the uncritical people of the fourteenth century. 


4. The peculiarity of spelling '"and" as both ok and og is abhorrent 
to the scientific precision of a modern philologist, but was very natural in 
the fourteenth century, when the sounds of k, t, and p. were frequently 
confounded with those of g, d, and b. 

5. The use of the phrase, "id var ok fiskc,'' belongs in the same class 
of colloquialisms as skiillen for skule han. haden for havde han, etc. These 
phrases are all on the lips of the people in common speech, but no well- 
informed person would sufifer them to appear in a serious narrative in 
writing. But in the fourteenth century, with its greater phonetic freedom, 
the}- were all common. 

6. Several obsolete words, which were in use in the fourteenth cen- 
tury, such as lacgcr, rise, skjar, af illy, and from, as well as the peculiar 
numeral characters, strongly indicate that no modern impostor made the 
inscription, as the works of scholars proving that they were in use at that 
time have mainly been published since the stone was found. 

7. The linguistic internal evidence of the genuineness of the stone 
coincide with and confirm the indications that come from the finding of 
the stone and its attendant condition. 

8. The numeral which expresses the number of days' journey distant 
from the seashore is more probably meant for fourteen than forty-one. 


Attention should be called again to the stone found by Verendrye and 
sent by him to Paris in 1734-40. The characters could not be read by any 
parties in Quebec, but were believed to be of Tartarean origin, there being 
then a belief entertained by many scholars and archeologists that America 
was peopled by Asiatics. The particulars of this finding, so far as they are 
known, are given by the Swedish botanist Kalm, who traveled in America in 

Again, there was evidently European blood in the Mandan Indians. 
All travelers who visited them reported instances of light-colored hair and 
skin, and blue e\"es. (7atlin presumed that the party of ]\Iadoc, a Welsh 
prince, had reached them, and that their descendants would account for the 
remarkable physiognomy. It is doubtful, however, that the mixing of the 
dark Iberian complexion of the Welsh with that of the Indians would ever 
produce blue eyes, while it seems certain that the blond complexion of the 
Northmen of Europe would produce them. 

These facts constitute an a priori affirmative case indicating that peo- 
ple from northern Europe mingled with the Alandan Indians. 



The following resolutions, which were adopted unanimously by this 
committee April 21, 1910, are not expected to terminate the investigation, 
but to show the present belief of its members : 

Resolved, That this committee renders a favorable opinion of the authen- 
ticity of the Kensington rune stone, provided, that the references to Scandi- 
navian literature given in this committee's written report and accompan_\-ing 
papers be verified by a competent specialist in the Scandinavian languages. 
to be selected by this committee, and that he approve the conclusions of 
this report. 

Resoh-ed. That this action of the committee be reported to the next 
meeting of the executive council, and that J\Ir. Holand be so informed. 

E. C. Mitchell, Chairman. 


O. D. Wheeler, 


Warren Upham. Secretary. 

In the next monthly council meeting. May 9, 19 10. this subject was 
introduced by Rev. Edward C. Mitchell, chairman of the committee, and 
large parts of this report were read by Professor Winchell, followed by 
his presentation, for the committee, of these resolutions. After much dis- 
cussion by the president and several members of the council and others of 
the society, the council voted that the report and resolutions of the museum 
committee be received and printed, with a statement that the council and 
society reserve their conclusion until more agreement of opinions for or 
against the rune inscription may be attained. 

Subsequently, Professor Bothne, having been selected by the museum 
committee, in accordance with its resolutions, for verification of references 
and a statement of his opinion, sent to the committee the following letter : 

The University of Minnesota, 
Minneapolis, Jnly 19, 1910. 
Prof. N. H. Winchell, 

Dear Sir: I am going away tomorrow, and cannot attend your meet- 
ing next Sunday. I have examined your report carefully, have visited 
Kensington and neighborhood, and have read most of the papers and articles 
relating to the rune stone. 


I ha\e always believed with the great authorities of Norway and Sweden, 
Magnus Olsen, Moltke Moe, M. Hogstad, Bugge, Noreen, Schrick, Mon- 
telius, that the language is too modern, besides being faulty; and a more 
careful study of the words has not changed my opinion. In some places 
where the rune (thorn) is used, it is not used properly. But I shall not 
enter into details at this time. 

That the Norwegians discovered Vinland is a fact. That they, in 
the fourteenth century, may have penetrated into the country as far as 
the present Kensington, is possible. But what has been testified to about 
the finding of the stone is not convincing, and I do not consider the Ken- 
sington stone authentic. 

It seems to me that the stone should be brought to Norway to be 
examined by expert runologists, and, in my opinion, nothing else will dis- 
pose of the matter. 

Yours respectfully, 



Since the foregoing was written, a learned contribution has been made 
to the subject by an eminent philologist, Prof. George T. Flom, of the 
University of Illinois, who reaches an adverse decision. This was cour- 
teously furnished to the committee in manuscript, but has since been revised 
and published in June, 1910, by the Illinois Historical Society, entitled 
"The Kensington Rune Stone, a Modern Inscription from Douglas County, 
Minnesota." His objections can be classified as follows: 


1. hadlic. hafthc should have been used; that is, the disappearance 
of / or V before a consonant had not yet taken place. 

2. I'cdh should Ije vidh. The change to c begins about 1400. vc, in 
the third line from the end, is an attempt to use the modern Swedish-Nor- 
wegian vc. 

3. fro should be fra. as fro and fro)n never occur in Middle Swedish. 

4. of cannot be compared with the sense "too," which would be beside 
the point ; and of rest is as impossible as "too west" in English. 


5. o/j would have been in Middle Swedish, in the regular way, do. 

6. ahr. The same error occurs here in oh. These spellings belong to 
a much later time. 

7. dliag, opdhagclsc, landli, dlicdh. There was no need for the Swedish 
scribe to employ the rune p for (/, os well as for dh and //;; for d then had 
its own symbol. 


8. x'ar, koiii, fan, liar. The transference of the singular form to the 
plural is comparatively recent. 

9. man, as plural, is irregular. 

10. 7-i had he. The modern scribe here employed his own speech, 
with an antiquarian effort shown in introducing /; after the dental. 

11. fra dheno sten should be fra pacssoii stcn (variant of paoiuna 
stcn) ; "later fra may also govern the accusative, which would give the 
form fra paenna sten." 

12. at se acptirvore skip should be, regularly, at se aeptir varolii skipiiin. 
The rune stone's inscription is that of present speech, Norwegian rather than 
Swedish, except for the word aeptir. 

13. from dheno ijh. oil is feminine in Old Swedish, and the feminine 
form of dheno should have been used, i. e., fra paeniia 0. { Compare fra dheno 
stcn above.) 


14. po. then just forming from 11 pp a, up pa, could not be used in this 
way (i. e., with an activity), but only as a preposition meaning upon. The 
use here is modern (in Swedish comparatively recent). 

15. opdhagclse must have dated from after the Reformation. It is 
Dutch, and its meaning as here employed is from High German entdeckcn. 

16. lacger is a loan from the German. The Old Swedish word was 
laegher, which also was used differently. 

17. rise should be in Old Swedish resa. which came into Swedish from 
German in the fifteenth century. 

18. Two quotations are given, from the fourteenth century and the 
fifteenth century, to show how consistent the language was at that time. One 
is from Sjalinne Throst, 1370, MS. 1430, the other from Margaret's Chronicle, 
late fifteenth century, MS. 1514-1525. 



19. Examination shows that the runes employed are not those of the 
Mariaklagan, Middle Swedish of about 1400, which are the same as in theScan- 
ian Law (1300). The Kensington scribe therefore did not use the regular 
Norwegian and Middle Swedish runic alphabet, but employed characters 
either invented by himself or from some other dialect, "a different alphabet." 

20. This paper shows use and knowledge of runes "until the last cen- 
tury." Hence there is some likelihood of someone having skill enough to 
write runes in the latter half of the nineteenth century. 

21. It finds that the particular alphabet of the Kensington stone was 
in use in the sixteenth century in Elfdalen; and it infers that the sixteenth 
century is "modern," yet in important respects quite different. For instance, 
the thorn was used by the Kensington scribe for tJi, dli, and d, whereas 
at the date claimed for the stone d had its own character. 


Most of these critical objections have been presented by others, and 
are referred to in the Ixidy of the foregoing report. There are 21 items, 
as numbered, and they will be reviewed here in numerical order. Numbers 
I, 3, 7, 8, 10, 14, 15, and 16, have been shown to be either invalid ov at 
least of questionable character adverse to the records. 

No. 2. vc is undoubtedly the phonetic for I'cdii, which is spelled in 
full (vcdii) in the fourth line, but probably pronounced as spelled here 
(vi"). If the rune scribe were perpetrating a fraudulent record of 1362, 
and was acquainted with the word vcdJi. he would scarcely introduce a 
modern spelling of that word (tr). 

No. 4. The translation far to the z^'cstzvard is not required. The use 
of of for af is an instance of the phonetic confounding of a, aa, with 0. 

No. 5. oh. The difference in sound between this word and do was 
so slight that the rune scribe was phonetically at liberty to use either. 

No. 6. ahr. Dahlerup says that "as early as in Old Danish[i050-i35o], 
the original long a had begun to approach the sound of aa" (Det Danske 
Sprogs Historic, p. 31 ). This increased length of sound was indicated also 
by the spelling ahr. 

No. 9. iiiaii. The common form for the plural was menu, or iiuiii. 
The form here used is irregular for anv date and can hardly be justified, 



although in Gamle Eriks Kronike (1320) is the expression "10,000 man them 
forslo"' (Klemming's edition, 326). 

No. 10. z'i hadlie. If the faker scribe knew the antiquarian style, it is 
hard to explain why he used his own speech at all. (Compare No. 2.) 

No. II. fra dheno stcn. The error of not distinguishing the gender 
of nouns in the application of the demonstrative was, and is, common. The 
final letter (0) was frequently substituted for a; but as sten is masculine, 
this form of the adjective is quite allowable. The final letter 0, being unac- 
cented, was frequently substituted for a, and vice versa. 

No. 12. at se aptir vore skip. This illustrates the confusion of inflex- 
ional usage of the fourteenth century. According to Falk and Torp, about 
this period c was changed to a in the word cptir and others in the Swedish 
language; but the change was not permanent, the letter e being restored, and 
a century later we find dptir, cptir, and dffthir, and cftir, used side by side 
(Svenska Medeltidens, Rim-Kronikor, third part). As the scribe employed 
dptir, it seems that, unless he was a learned linguist, he must have been 
contemporary with this temporary change. 

Professor Flom contends that a writer of the fourteenth century would 
have written varom skipmn. We find however that case endings were not 
so invariably respected as is commonly supposed. Even in the Icelandic sagas, 
which show a far more precise literary practice than the Swedish of the four- 
teenth century, the case endings are sometimes violated. For instance, in 
the Vinland saga (A. M. 552) we read: "Lata their i haf fram tvcnnum 
skipmn thegar their erii. bunir" (Vigfusson's, p. 123, line 23). haf is there 
nominative and should be dative, while tvennum skipum is dative and should 
be accusative. 

Such disregard and confusion of case endings is still more common in 
the Swedish of the fourteenth century. Molbech says of this period: "The 
old mother tongue's declensions and endings, which in the fourteenth cen- 
tury but meagerly remained, almost completely disappeared at the close of the 
century" ( Molbech's Ordbog, p. xlvii). We find therefore that the expres- 
sion in the inscription is not out of harmony with fourteenth century usage. 
No. 13. This shows the same "irregularity of declension as we find 
above to be characteristic of the period. 

No. 17. rise. Kalkar gives this spelling as an Old Swedish noun (mean- 
ing journey) of the middle ages. The modern form, reise or reysa, occurs 
more commonly in the literature of that period. 

No. 18. These quotations from the standard literature exhibi't the usage 


of scholars, among whom there was great dissimilarity of standards. The 
Kensington stone shows rather the usage of the common people, and, as 
already stated, the two cannot be expected to agree in detail. 

No. 19. The runes used are not precisely like those common in 1362, 
as illustrated by the Mariaklagan and the Scanian I^w, these being of about 
that date, but embrace novel characters, thirteen in number (including punctu- 
ations). It cannot be understood why an unlettered Swede of the nineteenth 
century, attempting a fraud of 1362, should invent, or import, thirteen 
characters not in common use ; since this variation from the common use 
would hardly be expected to further the acceptance of the fraud. The proper 
comparison would be with other inscriptions of West Gothland, which the 
two runic documents referred to are not. 

No. 20. It is certainly true that a scant and waning knowledge of runes 
continued till the nineteenth century. 

No. 21. This particular alphabet, according to Professor Flom, appears 
to have been in use in the sixteenth century in Elfdalen, in central Sweden, 
though with some divergences. How much earlier it was used, we do not 
know; but as people from Gothland ("8 Goths" ) were of this party and also 
used this alphabet, it is evident that it was used in Gothland or West Goth- 

This energetic discussion brings out important new facts which every- 
one who is seeking only the truth will v^'elcome ; but everyone will be at liberty 
still to make such application of the facts as his own judgment dictates. 
There are curious anomalies in the arguments of the author, such that the 
facts presented seem not to be used in their logical sequence, nor in the bear- 
ing which they have on each other and on the main issue. 

The- rune character (thorn) is confounded by Flom with a similar 
character having the upper and lower ends of its semicircle continued some- 
what to the left of the vertical bar. This form is said to have taken the place, 
in part, in the modern Dalecarlian runic alphabet, when, on the disappearance 
of the sounds dli and tli, a special character was required to represent the 
sound of d, which grew into prominence and persisted. The character thus 
used does not appear on the Kensington stone; and hence only the sounds 
represented can be fairly ascribed to the stone. Professor Flom's new 
translation, on pages 25-26 of his address, seems to be based wholly on his 
confusion of these rune forms. In 1362 the thorn must have represented 
the sound .of d in those cases where the d sound in spoken language had 
supplanted dh or th, though it had not yet been given a special character in 


written language. The modern runic alphabet, according to Flom, employs 
only the new form which represents the sound d. 

On the stone the "thorn" character occurs fourteen times, distinctly cut, 
without any suggestion of the modern rune character representing d. Yet 
nothwithstanding this the author assumes that the scribe, a man of the latter 
half of the nineteenth century, as he supposes, and hence familiar with that 
modern rune for the sound of d, ignorantly inscribed the "thorn"' in these 
fourteen places. It is not intimated that the use of the old character was 
due to the scribe's cleverness, to make the inscription seem ancient, although 
that would be a consistent view for Professor Flom to take, but he says 
distinctly that that the scribe was ignorant of the character used for d. As 
a matter of fact, the modern sound of d was only beginning to be used in 
spoken language in 1362, and was very rarely recognized then in runic 
script the character for t punctuated and thus changed to indicate the d 

Professor Flom shows that a rune system was used in Dalarne in the 
sixteenth century and later, but fails to show how much earlier. 
Doubtless runes were well known there in 1362, since their use seems to have 
prevailed throughout Scandinavia from a much earlier time. To except 
Dalarne would be without reason, unless some special condition can be shown 
to have operated against runes in that district. The inference therefore is 
that they were the ancestors of the Dalarne system of 1600. It remains to 
ascertain how the ancient runes used there differed from those of 1600 or those 
of more recent time, and whether they manifested those characters that do 
not agree with the modern Dalarne system, nor exactly with that of the 
Scanian Law. Finding important divergences of the Kensington stone from 
modern runes, Flom abruptly attributes them sometimes to the ingenuity and 
sometimes to the ignorance of the scribe, not even considering the possibility 
of their being due to their archaic date. 

It is unlikely that a faker with the keenness necessary to guide him in 
injecting into the inscription certain ancient forms of language should so far 
forget himself as to leave off the old inflections of the verbs (0111, uni, etc.), 
thus giving his work a decidedly modern look. It is more probable that in 
1362 those endings had already been dropped in speech, but that a skillful 
impostor familiar with ancient literature would retain them in his inscription. 

The conclusions set out in the appendix seem not to be based on 
the facts brought out by Professor Flom's address. No. i is deficient because 
his address does not treat of "the language as spoken at the time."' He 
only discusses it as written and especially its inflexions, which were dropped 


much later in the written than in the spoken language. No 2 is faulty for 
he does not at all discuss "the runic series of the time" (1362). He finds 
that the Kensington inscription agrees substantially with the recent Delecar- 
lian system, and where it shows discrepancies (which may arise from greater 
age) he regards them as evidences of forgery by the scribe. Xo 2 is further 
faulty because of the uncertain significance of the word "modern." Some 
things that are modern, say of the nineteenth century, began to exist in the 
fourteenth but are still "modern," which indeed may be the case of the Delecar- 
lian rune system as a whole. The verdict of the committee who reviewed 
Flom's arguments, being founded on evidence not proven, or only assumed, 
is therefore not conclusive. 

The genuineness of the Kensington rune stone must be determined, if 
Professor Flom's identifications be accepted, by an investigation directed to 
the question whether the Delecarlian system of runes existed at the date 1362 ; 
for the linguistic objections are largely swept away, and the runic objections 
appear to be turned into probably evidence in favor of the stone. 


The following article, reporting an investigation of an alleged forgery 
of the Kensington Rune Stone, contributed by Mr. H. R. Holand, is reprinted 
from the Minneapolis Journal, in which it was published August 9. 1910: 

Since the famous rune stoue of 1362 was found near Kensington. Minuuesota. 
twelve .vears ago, it lias been subject to a close scrutiny, and many persons liave been 
accused of having forged it. These have, however, been acquitted one after another 
until now only one remains. This man is one Fogelblad, who was formerly a Swedish 
Lutheran pastor. 

According to the statements of Professors R. B. Anderson and G. T. Floni, the leaders 
of the opposition against the genuineness of the inscription, Fogelblad was a Lutheran 
clergyman who later was deposed. He is said to have turned against his former faith 
and written books against Christianity, among which was one entitled "Ageof Reason." 
He made his home at Kensington, where he is reported to have carved runes on window 
casings and doors, etc. One of his favorite subjects of discourse was a strange narra- 
tive of how "Scandinavian explorers had visited that region (around Kensington) hun- 
dreds of years ago." When he suddenly died, "Fryxell's famous book on the Runes 
of East Gothland" was found in his trunk. This book was later given by one Andrew 
Anderson, in whose home Fogelblad died, to Olof Ohman, the tinder of the stone. 
According to Flom and R. B. Anderson this book is a complete commentary on the 
inscription of the stone. 

Such is the rumor published in several newspapers, and now latest in a pani])hlet 
published by the Hlinois State Historical Society. It must be admitted that, if this is 
true, it is .serious circumstantial evidence against the truth of the inscription. 

Although I have made four or five earlier trips to Kensington and vicinity, I had 


not heard this rumor, and I have therefore just made a special trip thither to see what 
could be learned of this man's life and character. 

I have spent a week in following the trail through Douglas, Grant. Pope, Meeker 
and Carver counties. I have talked with iwrsons who knew him in Sweden, with farmers 
who entertained him for years, with men and women whose entire schoolings had been 
received from him, and, finally, with those who were with him when he died. Although 
I have interviewed more than a hundred persons, there has been perfect harmony in 
all their accounts, e.specially concerning his character. 

The following is a summary : 

Sveu Fogelblad was born about 1820-25 in Sweden. He studied theology and the 
necessary classic studies that went with it in Upsala. His first public appearance is 
some time before 1860 when we find him a jolly curate under Rev. Mr. Kolander in 
Tomberg parish in Westgothland. 

He resigned his pastorate and came to America. Here he was almost persuaded to 
re-enter the ministry as pastor of a Swedish congregation at Litchfield. But at the 
critical time his old enemy, drink, tripped him up. 

He made his first appearance around Kensington about 1885-90. He is described 
as a short, thiek-set man of about 70 years of age, always cheerful and neat. He must 
have overcome his drink habit, for none of the people around Hoffman and Kensington 
ever saw him drink or under the influence of drink. He had no permanent home here, 
but as itinerant schoolmaster used to sojourn for a few weeks at different farmhouses, 
getting 50 cents per month for each child taught. His classes used to number si.x to 
eight pupils, giving him an income of $3 to $4- per month, which was all he needed for 
clothes. When the times and the seasons were inconvenient for schooling he used to 
quarter himself upon a farmer. He was e.xtremely lazy, and was never known to have 
assisted in the harvest or carried in a pail of water or aii armful of wood. He preferred to 
repair old pipes, bind books, make kitchen kuiek-knacks, etc. 

In spite of his laziness the farmers were always glad to see hiui because of his wealth 
of local news. He knew of births and deaths and other doings fiir and wide, and was 
the forerunner of the village newspaper. Moreover he was always absolutely reliable 
in all his gossip, conscientious and kindhearted in all his narratives, and clean and 
agreeable in person. He was without any ambition and never studied. He wrote 
neither books nor pamphlets, his literary efforts consisting of humble doggerels, which 
rarely if ever were printed. He. however, boasted to several that upon one illustrious 
occasion long ago in Sweden he had written an article for which a paper had paid 
him ten kroner (about $2.50). 

Although he always seemed contented, there was an undercurrent of melancholy 
in him. and those who know him best say he was never happy after he left college. 
Those days evoked his liveliest memories, and his eyes always overflowed with tears 
when he told of the times when he with 300 or 400 other students used to sing the 
stirring Swedish songs. On the whole, he appears to have been a tenderhearted, 
superficial person in general, with a deep conscientiousness which prevented him from 
squaring his creed with the doctrine of the church, wearing his sorrows as well as his 
joys upon his sleeve, inspiring confidence in all by his openhearted ways. ' 

He had iieen visiting for a year with a nephew in Scott county, when he in 1S95 
returned to Kensington to visit friends. On approaching the house of one Andrew 
Anderson, he suddenly felt ill. whereupon he went in there and died after a three days' 
attack of an unknown malady. 

Those who knew him best in (irant and Douglas counties are Messrs. Oslund. 
Thompson and Slmonson of Red Hock Lake. Hendrickson of Hoffman, Ekberg of Her- 


mau. aud Moeu. Carlsou. Benson. Ohmau and Oberg of Kensington, all among the 
mcst respected farmers of that section. To these persons and nian.v others I put the 
following questions: 

Did you ever see or hear of Fogelblad making runes on window casings, doors, 
or elsewhere? Did he ever speak of American discovery, or of Scandinavians having 
visited this section long ago? Do you believe he could have had a hand in making the 
Kensington inscription? 

To all of these questions 1 received an invariable and unequivocal "no." Not 
one had seen him make runes, not one had heard hiui speak of Scandinavian explorers 
in Minnesota, not one believed he could possibly have had anything to do with the 
Kensington stone. Many of these persons doubted the stone's genuineness, but, lio mat- 
ter who had chiseled it, they said, they were sure Fogelblad was innocent. He was, 
they said, too honest and conscientious to have perpetrated such a fraud; he had no 
aptitude whatever for practical jokes and deceptions; he was too lazy to have executed 
it, and too garrulous to have concealed it if he had. Furthermore, it is plain from 
the limitations of his early training and later opportunities that he was entirely ignorant 
of the fine runological and linguistic points involved in this inscription. Finally, he 
did not make his appearance around Kensington until many years after the tree above 
the stone had wound its roots around it. 

As to ■•Fryxell's famous book on the Runes of East Gothland." which, according 
to Professors Flom and^ Anderson, contains all the material for this inscription, I assert 
Fogelblad never possessed or saw this book, for one excellent reason — such a book 
never existed except in the overwrought minds of these gentlemen of imaginary rune lore. 
Fryxell never wrote any book whatsoever on runes. For information on this, see every 
Swedish encycloiiedia. The only nut of truth in this entire bag of husks is that Andrew 
Anderson, in whose house Fogelblad died, found an old Swedish grammar (by Alm- 
quist) among his books. On page 34 are two lines of runes to illustrate the develop- 
ment of the language. This book he gave to Olof Ohman. the finder of the stone, who 
by its help tried to make out the inscriptions, but without success. Three years ago 
I looked over Ohman"s books in his absence and found this work, but saw at once 
that it had nothing to do with the inscription, as the runes are different. Last spring 
this book was again brought into the discussion by suspicious persons, and I then 
asked Professor Winchell, the state archaeologist, to send for "the book, which he did. 
He then laid it before Norse scholars, who said it would be quite impossible to have 
■constructed the inscription from this alphabet. . 

The small collection of books left by Mr. Sven Fogelblad at his death, 
at the home of Mr. Andrew Anderson, was found, on inquiry by~the museum 
committee, to have been disposed of in part to Rev. M. A. Nordstroem, of 
Riverside, California. In order to push the im-estigation of this- question 
still further, inquiry was made of Mr. NordstroeiTi as to the existence of any 
works on runes, and especially by Fryxell on runes, in the collection owned 
by Fogelblad. Mr. Nordstroem replied, after some delay due to change 
of residence, that the books got by him were on philosophy, that Fogelblad 
had no work by Fryxell, and added that, in his opinion, Fogelblad could 
not have made the inscription. 



The chronologic order is followed, as showing best the development of 
discussion of this subject. The time included extends to September, 1910, 
giving a considerable number of references later than the date of this report 
by the museum committee, but preceding its publication. Many minor articles 
and comments in magazines and newspapers are omitted. 

Breda, Prof. O. J. Au interview giving au account of the discovery of the Ruue 
Stone. Minneapolis Journal, Feb. 22, 1S99. 

News Report, tlie first announcement of tbis discovery published in the Norwegian 
press, Skandinaven, Chicago, Feb. 22, 1S99. 

Aaberg, E. E. Further account of the discovery, written by a local resident acquainted 
with its details. Skandinarcn (semi-weekly), Chicago, March 1, 1809. 

Curme, Prof. G. O. Interview presenting in a brief paragraph bis objection to 
the use of the decimal system in the inscription. Skandinaven, March 1. 1899. 

Kirkeberg, Rev. O. L. An able translation of the inscription, with argument in 
favor of the genuineness of the stone. Skandinuven, March 1, 1899. 

Curme, Prof. G. O. A lengthy interview, favoring the genuineness of the inscrip- 
tion, but objecting to the apparently English word from. Skandinaven, March 3, 1899. 

Conradi, P. A. Detailed discussion of the inscription, presenting arguments for and 
against its genuineness. Skandinaven, March 10, 1899. 

Editorial Article in Skandinai-en, March K, 1899, summarizing the objections of 
Prof. Oluf Rygh as published in Mnrgenhladet, Christiania, Norway. These are the sup- 
posed English words, from, of, ded, and unusual runic characters. 

Flom. P. L. Communication showing that from was in use in Norway in the 
middle ages. Skandinaven, March 24, 1899. 

Breda, Prof. O. J. Interview giving a cablegram from professors of Christiania 
University, discrediting the ioscription chiefly because of its numerous supposed English 
words. Minneapolis Tribune, April 16, 1899. 

This opinion silencetl all who had been interested in the Rune Stone, and we find 
nothing further printed about it until 1908. 

Holand, Hjalmar Rued. First account of the stone in the revival of the discussion, 
containing a detailed defense of its genuineness and a full translation. Skandinaven, 
January 17, 1908: printed also in several other Scandinavian newspapers. 

Holand. H. R. The second chapter, pages 8-22, in his "De Norske Settlementers 
Historie" (Ephraim, Wisconsin, 1908), gives an account of the visits to America by the 
early Norsemen between the years lOOO and 1362, and concludes with a description of 
the Kensington Rune Stone. A view of the stone is presented from a photograph, and 
its inscription is printed in the rune characters, with a manuscript transliteration. 

Holand, H. R. Notes of correspondence with Prof. Magnus Olsen and Helge Gjessing. 
of Christiania University, giving Mr. Gjessing's objections to the inscription and answers 
to them. Deeorah Posfcn, Decorah, Iowa, May 14. 1909. 

Gjessing. Helge. Runestenen fra Kensington. The full publication of his objections. 
in Symra, Decorah, Iowa. Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 113-126, September, 1909. 

Iverslie, P. P. Keusingtonstenen. An able support of Mr. Holand's arguments in 
favor of the stone and in opposition to Mr. Gjessing's conclusions. Kvartalskrift, Eau 
Claire, Wisconsin, July, 1909, pp. 13-21. 


Editorial Article in La Nature, Paris. France, August 14. 1009. giving tbe history 
of the discovery of the stone and discussions of it, and presenting the probability of its 

Holaud, H. R. "Au Explorer's Stone Record which antedates Columbus: a Tragic 
Inscription unearthed in Minnesota, recording the Fate of a Band of Scandinavian 
Adventurers." Harper's Weekly, October 0. 1909. p. 15. 

Fossum, Prof. Andrew. "Hudson Bay Route to Solve Problem." A defense of the 
inscription by an able presentation of the feasibility of the explorers' route by the way 
of Hudson bay, the Nelson river, lake Winnipeg, and the Red river. XunicgUin American, 
Northfield, Minnesota, October 22, 1909. This article was printed also in Norwegian 
in Skandinaven, October 26. 

Holand, H. R. "The. Skerries Discovered." Au account of the author's di-scovery of 
the skerries mentioned in the inscription. Noriicgian American, November 19, 1909. 
The same account in Norwegian, accompanied by a map of Pelican lake, showing the 
position of the skerries and probable location of the camp of the explorers, was published 
in Skandinaven, November 26. 

Odland, M. W. "The Kensington Rune Stone is Genuine." Minneapolis Jounial, 
November 29, 1909. 

Norman, Rev. O. A. "More about the Rune Stone, ; by one who was asso- 
ciated in the Discovery of the Skerries." Ashby (Minnesota) Post, December 3, 1909. 

News Report of a meeting of the Minnesota Historical Society, December 13, 1909, 
giving synopses of addresses by H. R. Holand, Prof. N. H. Winchell, Prof. Andrew Fossum, 
and Dr. Knut Hoegh, all in defense of the genuineness of the inscription. Pioneer Press, 
St. Paul. Minnesota. Dec'ember 14, 1909. 

News Report, noting resolutions by the Council of the JIinne.sota Historical Society, 
requesting the governor of Minnesota to institute a search iu Paris for a supposed rune 
stone found in the Northwest by Verendrye in his expeditions of 1738-43. related by Peter 
Kalm in his "Travels into North America" (London edition, 1771. Vol. III. pp. 124-128). 
The Dispatch, St. Paul, December 14. 1909. 

News Reports, more detailed, of tbe addresses on December 13. in the meeting of this 
Historical Society, including nearly all of Professor Wiifchell's address. Xorirc'iiaii 
American. December 17. 1909. 

Hoegh, Dr. Knut. Report by the chairman of a committee appointed by the Nor- 
wegian Society of Minneapolis to investigate the discovery of the stone. The reiiort shows 
that it had lain where it was found since about 1800. at least, and strongly favors the 
genuineness of the inscription. Symra, Vol. 5. No. 4. pp. 178-189. December, 1909. 

Holand, H. R. A reply in Symra, Vol. 5. N<i. 4, p|i. 209-213. to the arguments of Mr. 
Gjessing in its preceding number as before cited. 

Upham, Warren. "The Kensington Rune Stone, its Discovery, its Inscriptions, and 
Opinions concerning them." Records of the Past, Washington, D. C, Vol. IX, Part 1, pp. 
3-7, January-February, 1910; with prints from photographs showing the inscriptions on 
the face and edge of the stone. 

Daae, Dr. Anders. Concise summary of the discussidu up in date, rouchuling that the 
opponents of the stone have not properly investigated tbe subject liefore forming their 
conclusions. Aftenpostcn, Christiauia, Norway, January 18, 1910. 

News Report of a meeting of the Chicago Historical Society. Feliruary 3. 1910, in 
which an address relating to the probable genuineness of this Rune Stone was delivered 
l)y H. U. Holand. followed by arguments of Dr. Chester N. Gould, of Chicago University, 
and Prof. George T. Flom. of tbe I'niversity of Illinois, against it. skdinlindrrn. Febru- 
ary 5; 1910. 


Aiulei'son. Prof. Kasuius B. "Professor Auderson calls it a Fraud." a sharp attack 
on the Itune Stoue and Mr. Holand's integrit.v. Wl'iconxiii titaic ■Journal. Madisou, 
Wisconsin, February 7. 1910. 

Holand, H. R. Rebuttal of the arguments presented in the preceding article. Wis- 
coiiisin, State Journal, February 8. I&IO. 

Holand. H. R. An interview entitled "Wed with Indians," presenting the prob- 
ability that the blue-eyed Maudan Indians are the result of intermarriage of the explor- 
er.s of 13U2 with the Indians of that region. Pioneer Press, February 15, 1910. 

Anderson, Prof. R. B. Editorial attacks against the Kensington stone and Mr. 
Holand. Amerika, Madison, Wisconsin, February 18, 1910. In the next issue of Aineriha, 
February 25, are a letter by Warren Upham, secretary of the Jlinnesota Historical 
Society, coucerniu!: that society's investigation of the stone and its inscriptions, and 
Professor Andersdu's eilitorial reply. 

Gates, Rev. Htiratio. A sunnnary of the discovery and discussion, with numerous 
references supporting the genuineness of the inscriptions. Rcimblican Gazette. Willmar, 
Minnesota, March 24, 1910. 

Holand, H. R. "A Fourteenth-Century -Columbus," noting that a Norse expedition 
under the command of Paul Knutson sailed from Bergen to Greenland in 1355 and 
returned in l.'J64, and that probably they went into Hudson bay and theuee advanced 
inland to the site of the Kensington stoue. Harper's Wcekli/, March 26, 1910. 

Hageu. Prof. O. E. "Ad Utrunique Simus." An Interesting discussion of the cre- 
dentials of this Rune Stone, with the conclusion that the runes and the language of the 
inscription will yield "its own vindication or condemnation." Amerika, April 1, 1910. 

Huseby, Olaf. A defense of the langua,i;e of the stoue. particularly of the word 
front, ^kandinaren. April 9, 101 U. 

Holand, H. It. A reply to I'rofes.sor Flom's ob.iections to the inscription, as pre- 
sented by him at the meetiufr, February 3. of the Chicago Historical Society. Skundi- 
naren, April 21, 1910. 

Holand, H. R. "The Oldest Native Document in America ;" the address delivered 
before the Minnesota Historical Society as before noted, December 13, 1909, giving a 
narration of the finding of the Rune Stone, with affidavits relating thereto, and a full 
statement of the arguments, runic, and linguistic, on both sides of the controversy, showing 
the probable reliability of the inscription as a historical record. Journal of American 
History. Vol. IV, No. 2, pp. 165-184, April, 1910. 

Breda, Prof. O. J. "Ruudt Keusiugton-stenen." A satirical article, noting the 
improbabilities of an exploration so far inland, and reminding the reader of the adverse 
opinions uttered by Norse scholars when the stone was foiuid. Symra. Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 
05-80, May, 1910. 

, Dieserud, .luul. "Holand og Kensingtonspogen." Detailed objections against the 
language of the inscription. Skandinaven, May 4, and Anurika. May 13, 1910. 

Winchell. Prof. N. H. News report entitled "I believe the Stoue is Genuine." 
Nonreoian Anieriean, Northfield. Minnesota, May 13, 1910. This article and others in 
the St. Paul and Minneapolis newspapers. May 10-12, contain extracts from the Report 
of the Mu.seuni Committee of the Minnesota Historical Society, read by Professor Win- 
chell at the society's monthly meeting. May 9. 

Holand, H. R. "Kensington-stenen." Lengthy replies to Jlr. Diesernd's olyections 
stated in the foregoing article. Skandinaven, May IS and 23, 1910. 

Anderson, Prof. R. B. "The Kensington Rune Stone once more: Draw your own 
Conclusions." This article claims that one Andrew Anderson practically .idmitted to 
the writer that he and Olof Ohman, the tinder of the stone, .-issisted a foniier iire;ichcr 


named Fogelblad iu forging the inscription. Amerika, ilay 27, 1910 ; reprinted also in 
the Democrat, Madison, Wisconsin, of the same date. 

Winchell, Prof. N. H. "Letters from Rune Su.spects." Letters of Andrew Anderson 
and Olof Ohman, denying and disproving the preceding accusation, and showing the 
impossibility of any collusion between them. Norwegian American, June 10. 1910. 

Anderson, Prof. R. B., and Prof. X. H. Winchell. "Opinions differ on Rune Stone." 
An interview with the former, accusing Rev. Sveu Fogelblad of making inscription, and 
letters from the latter and from Andrew Anderson, refuting that statement. Minne- 
apolis Journal, June 10, 1910. 

Iverslie, P. P. Rebuttal of the arguments against the inscription presented by Mr. 
Dieserud as before noted. Amerika, June 10, 17, and 24, 1910. 

Daae. Dr. Anders. "Var Normandeue i Amerika i 1362V" Review of recent develop- 
ments in the disi'iissidii. including a signed invitation from professors at Christiania 
University that the stinic lie brought there for renewed investigation. Aftciiiioxtrn. 
Christiania, Norw^iy, .luiio 12. 1910. 

Flom, Prof. George T. "The Kensington Rune Stone; a Modern Inscription from 
Douglas County, Minnesota." This address, delivered to the Illinois State Historical 
Society at its annual meeting, May 5-6, 1910, is a very elaborate array of arguments, 
from many points of view, against the genuineness of this rune inscription, with intima- 
tion that Mr. Fogelblad may have been its author. Publication with a large plate view^ 
of the rune stone, showing separately the records on its face and edge, and a plate of 
the runic alphabets used in the Scanian Law. the Lament of the Virgin, and this Ken- 
sington inscription. 

Schaefer, Rev. Francis J. "The Kensington Rune Stone." Narration of the dis- 
covery, description of the stone, with a plate from photograiilis. mikI iliscussiou of the 
inscription, concluding that it probably is genuine. Acta et DU-ln ( pulilislied by the St. 
Paul Catholic Historical Society), Vol. II, No. 2. pp. 206-210, July, lOKi. 

Dieserud, Juul. Restatement of his arguments against the stone. SkdiKliiKircii. 
July 11, 1910. 

Holand. H. R. Reply to the article last cited. Hkandinaren. July 29. 1910. 

Holand. H. R. Report of a thorough investigation of the rumor relating to Sven 
Fogelblad. entirely exonerating him from complicity in authoi-ship of the inscription. 
Skandinaven. August 4, and the Minneapolis Jountul. August 9, 1910: reprinted in the 
preceding pages 57-60. 

IversHe, P^ P. "Comments on the Rune Stone." in support of its genuineness. 
Norwegian Avierican, August 12, 1910. 

Grevstad, N. A. Editorial review of Professor Flom's address, before noted, the 
reviewer's conclusion being that the arguments in favor of the stone are stronger than its 
opponents admit. Skandinaren, September 5, 1910. 

Holand. H. R. "Mere om Kensington Stenen." Statement of the geological features 
of the stone, and notes of the opinions of experts concerning the antiquity of the inscrip- 
tion. Skini(liiiarr)i. September 17, 1910. 

Petterson. A. E. An interesting summary of Icelandic traditions of late voyages to 
Vinland. supporting the genuineness of the stone. Skandinaven, September 24, 1910. 

Holand, H. R. "Are there English Words on the Kensington Rune Stone?" An 
Investigation of the supposed English words (the most common objection), showing them 
to be of ancient Norse usage, exhibiting philological features practically impossible for a 
forger. Records of the Pa>:t. Vol. IX, Part V. pp. 240-245, September-October. 1910. 

Early Settlement. 

An eloquent and observant writer who some years ago had occasion to 
pen his observation regarding that portion of the beautiful Park Region of 
Minnesota. comprised within the borders of Douglas county observed that "the 
first settlers who pushed their way thus far beyond the confines of civilization, 
found a land of great natural beauty; a land selected as a home by the Sioux 
and Chippewa, with love for the beautiful which Nature made an instinct 
in the savage. The sun shone as brightly then as now, the flowers bloomed 
as freshly and carpeted the wide waste with the same variegated hues of 
beauty, while the woodland, with its network of undergrowth, almost defied 
penetration to all else but natives of its own depths. It was, indeed, a beauti- 
ful land. In summer, a perfect paradise of flowers; in winter, a drear\-, 
barren desert, with no trace of civilization. But today, how changed the 
scene. Rich fields of golden grain, magnificent farms, villages and cities 
have sprung up where so recently was naught but waste and desolation. 
The wintry blast which in former years drove the deer, bear and wolf to their 
hiding places, now signals the herd of the husbandman to comfortable 
shelter; while the iron horse, swifter than the nimble deer, treads the path- 
way so recently the trail of the red man. A wealthy and prosperous land 
has grown up, filled with a happy and contented people — a land dotted with 
schools and churches; while, as each milepost in the history of the county is- 
passed, it seems to mark an era of new and increased prosperity." 

Upon seeking to arrive at a definite conclusion regarding the very first 
settlement of any county or locality, the historian immediately is confronted 
by a difficult task. Fact and tradition are so closely interwoven in all state- 
ments relating to the beginning of a social order in an)- given community that 
it often is wholly impossible to differentiate between the two and to say of 
any given set of narratives bearing upon the first settlement, this is fact 
and this is merely tradition. And the situation confronting the historian in 
Douglas county is no exception to the rule. In the absence of any definite 
record or memoir of the pioneer period preserved against such a time as this 
there is no means at hand of acquiring absolute proof of historical state- 


ments covering the period that marked the first settlement hereabout in the 
time preceding the Indian outbreak, for it is known that there was some 
settlement here in the latter fifties of the past century. At the time of the 
ui>rising, however, those scantily protected settlers were scattered and, seek- 
ing safet\- in flight to more populous centers, did not return; hence there 
was a period following the appearance of the white man as a settler in this 
region that the land reverted to the waste and was unsought by such as other- 
wise would have gladly occupied the beautiful park region hereabout. 


Though unpopulated by the white man until the period of the latter 
fifties, above mentioned, Douglas county was not unknown to civilization, 
for long before its actual settlement white men had been passing through 
on the old Red River trail which marked the passage to the Pembina colony 
and the rich trading posts of the farther Northwest, and the groaning creak 
of the ungreased axles of the Red river carts must have been familiar sounds 
to the savage denizens of the then wastes of this lake region long before the 
white man stopped to la)- claim ti) one of the fairest spots on the globe. The 
old trail of the Red River N'alley settlements passed through Douglas county, 
running about twelve miles south of the present line of the Great Northern 
railroad, and along the line of that famous trail there was carried on a con- 
siderable commerce many years before there were any actual settlements in 
this immediate vicinity. 

Out of all the confusion relating to statements covering the period of 
pioneer davs it may safely enough be declared that the first definite settle- 
ment made by whites within the boundaries now comprising Douglas county 
was during the summer of 1858, in August of which year Alexander and 
William Kinkaid made their historic settlement at the junction of the two 
lakes, Agnes and Winona, the present site of the beautiful city of Alexandria, 
the county seat, which bears its name in honor of Alexander Kinkaid. About 
that same time a settlement was made within the present limits of Holmes 
City township by one Holmes, Noah Grant and W. S. Sandford. Both 
parties arrived at their respective places of settlement at very nearly the 
same time, but which came first is a difficult matter to determine at this late 
date. By cfimmon consent the Kinkaids alwa\s have been accorded the 
honor of being regarded as the pioneers, but a brief historical sketch of 
Douglas county accompanying a plat-book of the county published in the 
middle eighties savs that "some of the leading old settlers claim that the 


Holmes City party had been here some weeks before the Kinkaids arrived." 
However that may be, it is certain that in August, 1858, both parties were 
on the ground. Messrs. Holmes, Grant and Sandford came together from 
Shakopee. Mr. Holmes, who was regarded as the leader of the party, became 
the leader in that community during the short time he remained there and 
when the township came to be named it was given the name of Holmes City 
in his honor, while the little lake on which the settlement called Holmes City 
was established became known as Grant's lake, in honor of Noah Grant, an 
immediate contemporary of Holmes. Mr. Holmes only remained a year or 
two and then returned to Shakopee. Noah Grant enlisted in the army dur- 
ing the Civil War and upon the completion of his military service returned 
to Douglas county, but in 1867 went South, where he afterwards made his 
home. Sandford, it is said, left the county at or before the time of the 
Sioux rebellion. 


Alexander and William Kinkaid, bachelor brothers, were natives of 
Wilmington, Delaware, who, some years prior to 1858, the time of their 
settlement in Douglas county, had come West and had put in their fortunes 
with those early settlers who had come to Minnesota in territorial days. For 
some time they sojourned at St. Peter, which then had aspirations to become 
the capital of the state, and then pushed on northwest into Pope county/ 
locating on White Bear lake, where they started a settlement which later 
developed into the thriving town of Glenwood. The following summer, the 
summer of 1858, they came on farther to the northwest on a prospecting 
expedition and upon arriving at the banks of Lake Agnes became so deeply 
impressed by the beauty of the spot that they determined there "to pitch their 
tent,"' and thus was the city of Alexandria brought into being. Returning 
to White Bear lake for their belongings the Kinkaid brothers soon made 
their way back to Lake Agnes and in August of that year made a perma- 
nent location on the site previously selected, being probably the first white men 
who had visited that particular spot. It was not long until other settlers 
were attracted to the spot and thus a thriving settlement presently sprang 
up on the attractive rise of ground to the south of Lake Agnes and on the 
east shore of Lake Winona, the site now covered by the city of Alexandria. 
The Kinkaid brothers built a log cabin on the knoll just south of where the 
Great Northern railway station now stands, and upon the arrival of other 
settlers almost immediately thereafter became instrumental in forming a 
townsite company, with a view of attracting others and thus establishing 


a city in the then wilderness. They secured the services of Gen. T. F. Bar- 
rett, of St. Cloud, a government surveyor, who surveyed and platted the 
townsite and the same was named Alexandria, in honor of the founder, 
Alexander Kinkaid. In order to promote the sale of lots and advertise the 
attractiveness of the new settlement, the Kinkaid brothers organized a town- 
site company, which included besides themselves Col. John Ball, of Winona; 
George F. Bratt, of St. Cloud; H. T. Welles, of Minneapolis, and A. P.. 
Wilson and P. L. Gregory, of St. Anthony. Though the township at that 
time had been run, it had not been sub-divided and the land hereabout had 
not been fully surveyed. It is narrated that through the agency of P. L. 
Gregory four hundred and forty acres of land' were located, the same being 
covered by Sioux half-breed script, obtained for this purpose by H. T. 
Welles from Franklin Steele, of Minneapolis, and to secure him for the 
advance made, the title to the town site was vested in Mr. Welles. William 
Kinkaid remained at the new settlement until 1861, in which year he received 
an appointment to a government clerkship and removed to Washington, 
D. C, where he died some time afterward. Alexander Kinkaid was made 
postmaster of the new town of Alexandria, when a station was established 
there late in 1858, the mail route at that time being from St. Cloud to Ft. 
Abercrombie, the mail then being carried, most of the time on foot, by one 
Evans, after whom the town of Evansville afterward came to be named. 
The postoffice at first was kept in the Kinkaid cabin, but when J. H. Van 
Dyke presently started a little store the office was removed to the same and 
later \'an Dyke was made postmaster. Alexander Kinkaid continued to 
take a prominent part in the affairs of the new settlement, being one of the 
most active promoters of the growing village, but about 1868 went to Cali- 
fornia, where it is believed he sjient the remainder of his life. 


For some time after the establishment of the new settlement all the 
travel to and from Alexandria— what little there was — came from the south, 
along the edge of the prairie, following the line taken by the Kinkaids upon 
coming into this country. The old trail to the Red River settlements passed 
through the county, but there was very little travel upon that. A year or 
two after the Kinkaids came they opened a road north from the new town- 
site and in 1859 the government troops cut a road through the timber, east 
and west, establishing a military road, which afterward became a stage and 
state road and which, with a few changes in its course, is now one of the 


most extensively traveled highways in this part of the state, its course being 
throvigh the towns of Osakis, Alexandria, Brandon and Evansville. 

During the remainder of the year 1858 there was very little addition 
to the population of the county, though among those who came before the 
spring of 1859 were the families of P. L. Gregory, James Bedman, Charles 
Cook, J. A. James and Hugh O'Donnell. It was from St. Cloud that P. L. 
Gregory made his way to this section and he became a member of the Alexan- 
dria Town Site Company, and for several years took a prominent part in 
the work of developing the new settlement. Tlie townsite company put up 
a log hotel near Kinkaid's building and Gregory moved his family from St. 
Cloud and occupied the hotel, the family making their way from St. Cloud, 
a distance of seventy miles, by ox-team. For several years the Gregory hotel 
was a favorite resort of the pioneers and is still often referred to in tales 
of the old days hereabout. Some years after locating at Alexandria Gregory 
was elected as a representative from this district to the state Legislature and 
returned to St. Cloud for residence. James Bedman, who also arrived in the 
fall of 1858, was an Englishman and a blacksmith by trade. He took a 
claim on the rise northwest of Lake Agnes and opened a little blacksmith 
shop in which he followed his trade. Charles Cook, also a native of Eng- 
land, arrived with Bedman from Kandota, in Stearns county, but in 1867 
he returned to his native land. Soon after the war broke out J. A. James, 
whose name is noted above, enlisted for service and did not return to Alex- 
andria. Hugh O'Donnell, who did good work for the townsite company, 
later took a claim nearby, but left in 1861 and years afterward was heard 
from as a resident of Pembina. Among others who came in the summer of 
1858 were N. F. Barnes and Glendy King, the former of whom came from 
the state of Maine and the latter from Philadelphia. Barnes settled on a 
farm east of Lake Agnes, but in 1866 went to St. Cloud, whence he later 
went to California. King settled at the south end of Lake Winona, but in 
1 861 returned East, which section did not permanently claim him, however, 
for in the early eighties word was received that he had been killed in the 
Indian Territory. 

As word of the new settlement over in the lake country became circu- 
lated others became attracted to the spot and during the year 1859 quite a 
number of settlers arrived in the county, the most of whom settled in Alexan- 
dria or in that immediate vicinity. Among these were J. H. Van Dj'ke, A. 
Darling and family, James F. Dicken, James Barr and family, Myron Col- 
oney and S. B. Cowdry. \^an Dyke, who was a native of Pennsylvania, 
moved over from St. Cloud, arriving at Alexandria in the spring of 1859. 


During that summer he put up a log house on the height overlooking the 
lake, south of where the Great Northern freight depot now stands, and in 
that building opened up a small store, the first general store in Douglas 
county, and there continued doing business until the time of the Indian out- 
break, when the building was torn down and the goods moved within the 
walls of the stockade which the government meanwhile had erected on 
the same height overlooking the lake nearby the store, which also had been 
used as a postofifice and was thus regarded as the center of the new com- 
munity. A. Darling, who had come over from the neighborhood of Oshkosh, 
Wisconsin, took a claim on the banks of Lake Darling, and there he and his 
family remained until the time of the Indian outbreak, when they left for 
Missouri, intending to return when things had quieted down in this section, 
but in August. 1864. Mr. Darling was slain by Southern bushwhackers and 
his family returned to the homestead farm on Lake Darling, and there estab- 
lished their home anew. It was in the spring of 1859 that James F. Dicken, 
who is still living in Douglas county, one of its best-known and most hon- 
ored residents, had his first sight of this favored region. He passed through 
the new settlement at Alexandria on his way West on a prospecting trip, but 
returned in the fall, accompanied by Burton Sparry and Henry Whitcomb, 
and established himself on the shores of Lake Ida for the purpose of trap- 
ping and trading with the Indians. In August. 1862, he enlisted in the First 
^Minnesota Cavalry, under Colonel McPhail. and remained in the service for 
thirteen months, at the end of which term of service he went to Missouri, in 
Vvhich state he renewed the acquaintance of the family of A. Darling, mar- 
ried one of the daughters of the family and in 1864 returned to Douglas 
countv, which has ever since been his place of residence, his home long hav- 
ing been at his pleasant place one mile east of Garfield. 

Among the other original settlers whose memories have been recalled 
was James Barr, who also arrived in 1859, having come West from Phila- 
delphia. He entered a claim near the Darling place and remained there for 
several years, later becoming a resident of Ida township and still later 
moving on farther west and settling in the Dakotas. Myron Coloney, 
another of the settlers of 1859, ^* referred to in contemporary accounts as 
having been (|uite a character among the earl\- settlers. He had for some 
time been engaged in editorial work on one of the St. Louis newspapers, was 
a writer of much talent and took an active interest in the affairs of the new 
settlement. He took a claim on the shores of Lake Ida and there estab- 
lished his home, building a log cabin into which he moved his effects, among 
which was a fine piano, his wife having been an accomplished musician. It 


was in the neighborhood of James F. Dicken's place on Lake Ida that the 
Coloneys settled and Mr. Dicken found pleasant relief from his lonely bache- 
lor quarters in the agreeable companionship of his neighbors. When the 
settlers were warned to flee at the beginning of the Indian outbreak the 
Coloneys returned to St. Louis, leaving their domestic belongings behind, 
and not long afterward their house overlooking the lake was destroyed by 
lire, the first piano in Douglas county thus being reduced to ashes. S. B. 
Cowdry, a native of the state of New York, whose name is noted above as 
one of the arrivals in 1859, took as a claim a farm in La Grande township, 
afterward owned by G. C. Whitcomb, but a year later left his claim shanty 
and moved into the settlement at Alexandria, where he took charge of the 
hotel whicli Charles Cook, the Englishman, had just given up, the profits of 
the humble inn not having been sufficiently remunerative to pro\e attractive. 
When the outbreak occurred Cowdry joined the others in the general fiight 
to St. Cloud and did not return. 


In the meantime there was beginning to be some form to the civic 
affairs of the new community and a county government, for certain local 
purposes, had been set up. For some years after the creation of Douglas 
county by the Legislature it had been attached to Stearns county for civil 
and judicial purposes, but in 1859, there then having come to be a consid- 
erable settlement in and about the center of the county, a move was started 
to organize Douglas for administrative purposes. In this movement P. L. 
Gregory is said to have been the active leader and an election was held — the 
first election in Douglas county — in Gregory's hotel., Not all of the settlers 
were willing thus to assume the responsibilities of government and it is 
narrated that only a few voted. The returns of the election therefore were 
not recognized by the authorities and the election was held to be void. How- 
ever, during the session of the Legislature in the winter of 1858-59, a bill 
had been passed authorizing the organization of Douglas county for certain 
local purposes essentially administrative in their character and it was not 
long after the failure of the first citizens to e.xercise their right to the fran- 
chise that the governor appointed J. H. Van Dyke, S. B. Cowdry and A. 
Darling as a board of commissioners to set on foot a local government here- 
aI)out. This board convened at .the Van Dyke store and appointed the fol- 
lowing countv officers: Register of deeds, Alexander Kinkaid; sherifl:, J. A. 



Adams; probate judge, P. L. Gregory. This organization was maintained 
until the time of the Indian outbreak, when it, as well as all other local 
matters, was abandoned and all records that had been made were lost. Noth- 
ing further was done in the matter of local government until 1866, by which 
time definite settlement again was being re-established, when the county was 
organized on a permanent and continuing basis, the details of which, as well 
as the general history of the county government, are set out elsewhere in this 
volume in the chapters relating to the organization of Douglas county and 
to the officials of the same. 

While the settlement at Alexandria was beginning to take form, it being 
the first settlement in the county, other portions of the county also were 
beginning to be recognized as exceedingly desirable points for settlement 
and during the years of 1859 and i860 several small settlements sprang up. 
.\t the point where the thriving village of Brandon now stands Henry Gagar 
settled and it was not long until others had joined him at that desirable 
point, c|uite a little settlement presently being formed there, to which the 
name of Chippewa was given, the large lake in that vicinitv also being gi\en 
the name of Chippewa lake, the headwater of the Chippewa river which 
drains the western part of the county and empties into the Minnesota river 
at Montevideo, in Chippewa county, this state. Afterward the \'illage of 
Chippewa was rechristened Brandon, in honor of the birthplace in Ver- 
mont of Stephen A. Douglas, after whom the county was named. In 
the southeastern part of the county there also was noted the beginning of a 
settlement in 1859, John Potter having taken a claim where tlie village of 
Osakis now stands, and within a year afterward Joshua Fairfield, Robert 
Wyman, Benjamin Pease, William Husted and others took claims nearby 
or farther up in the eastern part of the count}-. About the same time Xels 
Olson took a claim on Maple lake, in what afterward became Hudson town- 
ship, and during the year i860 the western part of the county also began to 
take on something of the aspect of settlement. The year before, in 1859, 
Burbank & Company having established their stage line through this part 
of the country, a station was established at the point now known as Evans- 
ville and 1-^vans. the first mail carrier, after whom the town was named, had 
put up a little shant\- there. In i860 Mr. Rogers settled there and kept the 
station and it was not long until others had settled in that part of the count^•, 
among those resident in the Evans neighborhood at the time of the Indian 
outbreak having been the Canfields, the Does, Samuel Thompson, the Per- 
fountaines, the LaBrands, Miner VanLoon, H. Blackwell, Thomas Cowing, 
J. W. Barr, Robert Ridley. George Bancroft, George Kinkaid and James 


Shotwells. By this time roads were beginning to be opened up in addition 
to the stage Hne and the old military trail and the Red River trail and there 
was on all sides an appearance of activity presaging early and populous set- 
tlement. Numerous farms were beginning to be developed and the fair lake 
region comprised in what is now Douglas county gave promise of becoming 
at once one of the most desirable points of settlement in the western part 
of the state. More and more frequent were the inquiries at the land office 
regarding locations in this section and all seemed well with Douglas county, 
the future apparently being full of promise, when the dread event occurred 
that proved a set back for all of western Minnesota and on down the fair 
valley of the Minnesota river, a set back from which Douglas county did 
not recover for several years, during which the county was practically depopu- 
lated, the courageous and hopeful settlers who had come here in the period 
following 1859 and up to the summer of 1862 having fled in the face of a 
savage uprising which for a time threatened to sweep before it the force and 
the authority of the white man in the new state. 

The influence of the earlier phases of the Civil War had been little felt 
this far west, the absence of railroads and telegraph leaving the settlers in 
practical ignorance of the disastrous struggle then being waged between the 
states, so much so that the extent of the war had hardly been realized out 
this way, though several of the settlers had responded to the call to arms 
and had enlisted in the service of their country against the rebellion of a 
section. But when the news came in August, 1862, that the Indians had 
arisen and had declared war on the whites in Minnesota, the dreams of 
peaceful and undisturbed habitation out here were rudely dashed and the 
history of Douglas county was set back for three or four vears, or until 
the eventual re-establishment of secure conditions in the wilderness made 
tenable the return of the settlers who had scattered and fled to more populous 
points upon the wild cry of alarm that followed the Sioux uprising of 1862. 
And thus closed the first period of the history of Douglas county, the 
pioneer period, the period of the first settlement, when the foundations were 
laid for the noble structure of social, civic, religious and commercial develop- 
ment that later was to be erected here. Of the tragic incidents connected 
with the Sioux uprising, in its relation to this part of the state, details are 
set out elsewhere in a chapter devoted to that outbreak ; of the resumption of 
settlement after the uprising had been effectually put down, details also are 
set out elsewhere in the chapters relating to the organizations of townships 
and villages, and there is therefore no need to dwell here upon that tragic 
incident which interrupted the course of empire in Douglas count\- bv driv- 


ing the pioneers into retreat or to include in this chapter on the early settle- 
ment of the county the details of the establishment of a permanent govern- 
ment hereabout or of the real settlement which came about in due course 
when the white man came into undisputed possession of this fair region and 
no longer stood in terror of the relentless fury of the savages. Suffice it to 
say that there had been established here before the Sioux uprising an out- 
post of civilization and that on the foundation then laid there has arisen one 
of the finest and most substantial social structures in all the great state of 


From a series of letters relating to pioneer days, written by V. D. 
' Nichols, a pioneer of Douglas county, now residing at San Jose, California, 
and published in the Brandon Echo during the summer of 1906, it is pointed 
out that Douglas county was first settled at Alexandria and at Holmes City 
in 1858. The country then was a perfect wilderness, the undisputed hunt- 
ing ground of the Indians, who found much wild game roaming everywhere 
through the heavy timbers and over the grassy prairie land. One of the 
early Holmes City settlers killed more than ninety deer in one winter. The 
chief source of livelihood for those early pioneefs was hunting, trapping and 
fishing. The settlers did not begin to come out here in any yery large num- 
bers for some time after the desirability of this region as a place of residence 
had been demonstrated, the Indian massacre keeping the first stream of 
immigration out this way from penetrating too far into the wilderness. But 
with the close of the Civil War and the establishment of a sense of security 
against Indian depredations, numbers began to prospect for new homes in 
this section and considerable settlements began to form. In addition to the 
settlement at Alexandria, already referred to, in 1866, a considerable number 
of settlers had arrived in the neighborhood of old Chippewa, which had first 
been settled by Henry Gager in 1861 and which later took its present name 
of Brandon. 

Among the first of these colonists were Hans P. Hanson, Ole Thomp- 
son, Haagen Holing and John Thorkelson, who came over from Goodhue 
county by ox-team, with covered wagons and a few head of cattle. I'hey 
had heard of the excellent land in this region that could be secured cheaply. 
Some bought their farms for $1.25 an acre and others, who bought from 
speculators, paid from $2.50 to $3.50 the acre. Traveling was extremely 
slow and difficult, as there were practically no roads and a bridge was almost 
wholly unknown. If the\- came to a stream, the only way was to plunge 


in and get across as best they could. The drivers had to lead their oxen 
and were therefore compelled to wade along, sometimes waist deep. It 
might happen that the heavy load, consisting of wife and children and the 
most essential household goods, would get stuck in mid-stream. Then the 
only way was to carry the load across to the opposite bank of the river and 
get the wagon out as best they could. In addition to these difficulties, the 
mosquitoes were so thick that the travelers could hardly breathe without 
choking on them and the pests worked a great hardship on cattle. 

The parties above mentioned located on the farms on which they estab- 
lished their permanent homes, with the exception of H. P. Hanson, who 
bought the eighty north of the John A. Olson place, where he at once began 
to erect a sod hut. Meanwhile, they did their cooking and housekeeping in 
the covered wagons. Three days after their arrival, Thorston Hanson was 
born, thus having the distinction of having been the first white child born in 
the township of Brandon. The hardships and privations these people had to 
undergo were distressing. The swarms of mosquitoes and flies drove the 
people and the cattle almost frantic. It had rained almost continuously all 
summer, so every low place was full of water, an ideal breeding spot for the 
mosquitoes. The cattle, tormented by the pestilential insects, would stray 
off through the thick underbrush in the wild woods and in the marshes. The 
grass was so high as almost to conceal them and to follow them was a most 
difificult task, to say nothing of. the disagreeable work of hunting for them 
through the tall, stiff and sharp slough grass and thick timber, tormented 
continually by clouds of mosquitoes. 


The first piece of land taken up in the township of Brandon was the 
place taken Ijy Henry Gager, shortly after or about the time the stage route 
was opened between St. Cloud and Ft. Abercrombie, on the Red river, near 
the present city of Breckenridge, this state; Burbank & Waite, who held the 
mail contract, having induced Gager to enter a tract of land there, open up 
a farm and keep a stage station for them, other stations established in this 
section having been those at Osakis, Alexandria, Evansville and Pomme de 
Terre. Gager opened a farm at Chippewa lake and kept the station until 
the Indian outbreak in 1862, when he was driven out. There was another 
settler named Austin, whose house stood where later the school house in dis- 
trict No. 76 was erected. He and some others came back after cattle and 
Austin was killed by Indians near where the village of Evansville now is 


situated. A few weeks later the government had the government mail route 
open again. Stockades were put up at Alexandria, Chippewa and Pomme 
de Terre and soldiers were stationed there for defense, and most of the 
scattered settlers came back. 

In 1865 George Freundrich bought the Gager place and in 1866 settlers 
began coming in, the first settlers in that part of the county making Chippewa 
City their headquarters. In 1867 came the flood, when the roads, bad enough 
before, for awhile became impassible. As the nearest place at which the 
settlers could get flour or other provisions was at St. Cloud, one hundred 
and four miles away, starvation stared them in the face. Luckily, an ox- 
train loaded with supplies for one of the frontier forts was wending its way 
through the county at the t4me and as it could not proceed, these supplies 
were sold to the settlers in the vicinity of Chippewa. In 1868 settlers came 
in briskly and the township was organized under the name of Chippewa 
Lake. George Cowing put up a store across the road from Richard Peffer's 
house. Metz & Cotois put up the Pefifer building for a store. Joseph Med- 
bery put up a blacksmith shop. A townsite was laid out, the postoffice of 
Chippewa Lake was established and there became the center of civilization 
for many miles about. Later the name of the postoffice was changed to 
Brandon, in further honor to Stephen A. Douglas, in whose honor the county 
was named, Brandon, Vermont, having been "the Little Giant's" birthplace. 
Other centers of settlement sprang up and at last, in 1878, came the railroad 
and New Brandon. Old Brandon went back to a quiet, well-tilled farm. 
Meantime, Freundrich sold it out to Peffer, Hoplin and others, Peffer getting 
the old farm. But none of the old timers ever forgot the "great old times" 
at Chippewa lake or the many hunting and fishing stories told there. 


The present generation cannot realize all the hardships the early settlers 
endured in opening up the land. Of these hardships, the mosquitoes were 
probably the most difficult to endure. Bad roads, the lack of every conven- 
ience of living and such things were expected beforehand and so could be 
endured, but the little insect pests were almost unendurable. V. D. Nichols 
recalls that on more than one night no one could get a "wink" of sleep. "The 
early settlers did not have houses from which the pests could be entirely 
excluded and I have known them to so swarm in the houses that they would 
put out the light in a few minutes time, their dead bodies clogging the wick. 
Out of doors, toward evening, it was almost impossible to breathe on account 


of them. A man's clothing would become so covered that he simply would 
look gray with them. The poor cattle would rush madly through the bushes 
trying to brush them off and often stray a long way off. I have known 
grown men to give up and cry from the pain of their bites and the hopelessness 
of getting any rest from them." 


The first homestead entered in the township of Brandon (old Chippewa 
Lake), taken up after the Indian outbreak of 1862, was on an entry made 
by John C. Nichols, while on the same day his cousin, John J. Nichols, entered 
a neighboring place. Someone had filed on the place in 1862 and had broken 
about five acres on it, but never returned after the outbreak. The Nichols 
boys arrived from VVolcottville, Indiana, early in 1866 and were the very first 
settlers to come into the township after it again began to settle up, the party 
above referred to as having come from Goodhue county, having come a few 
months later. After selecting land, it was necessary to go to St. Cloud, one 
hundred and four miles distant, to locate, as the land office was there at that 
time, it being some years later that it was moved to Alexandria. St. Cloud 
also was the point from which all supplies were drawn. John C. Nichols was 
a member of the first board of supervisors of Brandon township and was 
supervisor from the time the township was organized in 1868 to 1878, most 
of the time chairman of the board. He sold out in 1879 and moved to 

In 1867 Antoine Pelliser entered a tract of eighty acres right north of 
Baumbach lake and broke twenty acres of the same that same season, the 
next spring, in March, 1868, selling the farm to Fred von Baumbach, who 
took up an additional tract adjoining as a homestead and built his first log 
house where the Nootnagle house later was erected, and farmed the land 
imtil his election in 1872 to the office of county auditor, when he moved to 
Alexandria, where he is still living. In 1876 he sold his farm to Dr. Charles 
Nootnagle, who two years later gave the place to his sons, Herman and 
Fred. Mr. von Baumbach was quite a horticulturist and on his place were 
planted the first fruit trees in Brandon township ; or rather there and on the 
V. D. Nichols place, the two getting one dozen small crab-apple trees and 
each planted six. 

William Kappahahn was one of the first settlers of Millerville town- 
ship, having arrived there from Northfield on March 8, 1867. At that time 
there was about three or four feet of snow on the ground and he and another 


man who had come up here with government supplies, had to wade through 
the wet snow. It was beginning to meU and the streams had to be forded. 
At one place below Alexandria they had to wait two days before the water 
was low enough for them to undertake the ford. Mr. Kappahahn had been 
through this country a few years previously with General Sibley's force dur- 
ing the Indian outbreak. One of the worst difficulties he had to contenc? 
against after locating was the mosquitoes. The people much of the time 
during the summers could not work on account of the pests. About four 
o'clock in the afternoon they had to build smudge fires, to which the cattle 
would come bellowing. Often the cattle would be so thickly covered with 
mosquitoes that the settlers had to take a hoe and scrape the insects off. 


The district school houses of the pioneer period were not so well 
equipped with blackboards, desks, charts, mechanical appliances and the like 
as the schools of the present date. The seats were made from heavy boards, 
with wooden pegs driven into them for legs and the pupils had to make use 
of their knees in lieu of a desk ; and not very many were troubled with curva- 
ture of the spine on that account, either. 


Conditions and modes of life in Douglas county today differ greatly 
from those of the pioneer days. To those who have lived here from the 
beginning, the changes have come about so gradually that to a large extent 
they have escaped notice; and to the younger generation some of the expe- 
riences of the early settlers seem like tales from a story book rather than 
actual occurrences. 

For many }'ears the only travel was on foot or with ox-teams and was 
necessarily slow and monotonous, except on the rare occasions when the 
"steers" would take it into their heads to run awa_\", and then for a time 
it was neither slow nor monotonous. 

Parts of the county were sparsely settled and even on some of the main 
roads through the big woods — especially was this true near .\lexandria — 
one could travel for miles without seeing a human habitation or meeting a 
single person. But the scenery along the roads was magnificent, especially 
in the autumn, after the foliage had been touched by the early frosts, and 
the deep red of the high-bush cranberries and the dark blue of the wild 


grapes, both of which were plentiful, mingled with the multi-colored leaves 
of the trees and shrubs. 

Perhaps, because of the fact that houses were far apart and travel was 
slow, the people were sociable and hospitable to a degree, and a house near 
one of the roads was seldom without one or more guests over night, although 
the house was very small and the accommodations most scanty. 


The day of farm machinery had not arrived and for many years, espe- 
cially on the farms in the timber, the numerous stumps were such serious 
obstacles to the use of machinery that the latter could not have been used, 
even if the owner had the means to buy it. The hay was cut with a scythe, 
cocked by the pitchfork and carried to the stack on poles. To those who 
are unfamiliar with this operation it may be stated that a cock was a round 
pile of hay, built quite high and in such a way that it would shed rain, and 
of such a size that twenty cocks would ordinarily make a ton. In stacking 
these cocks into large and permanent stacks, two men would provide them- 
selves with two strong poles about ten feet long and pointed at the ends. 
These poles would be run under the cock of hay about three feet apart, 
one man would take hold of the ends of these poles on one side of the cock 
and the other man would do the same on the other side, and the cock would 
then be lifted and carried to the stack. If the men were strong they would 
not be content to carry one cock, but would put one on top of another and 
carry both to the stack at one time. 

Wheat and other small grain was cut with a cradle, an implement con- 
sisting of a large and long scythe to which was affixed a frame consisting 
of four "fingers," or prongs, of wood nearly as long as the scythe blade 
and about eight inches apart. The contrivance bore a remote resemblance 
to the cradle in which babies were rocked to sleep — hence the name. By 
means of this cradle the grain would be cut and laid in even swathes that 
could easily be raked into bundles and bound up. Grain seeders were 
unknown and the grain was sown broadcast by hand. Corn and potatoes 
were cultivated entirely by the hand hoe. Wheat was threshed out on the 
house floor with sticks and flails and thrown across the room to separate the 
grain from the chaff, but threshing-machines were s6on introduced. For 
many years the threshing-machines were operated by horse power, and 
usually five teams of horses were used to run a machine. 



The first railroad trains that operated in the county were quite different 
from the present ones. That was the day before steel rails were used and 
the soft iron rails soon became flattened out even though the locomotives 
and cars then in use were much lighter than those of the present day. For 
a number of years wood-burning engines were used and the wood for these 
engines was cut near the railroad in the winter time, hauled to the track 
and piled up in ranks generally six feet high. In places these ranks of cord- 
wood, often four or five in number, would extend almost continuously for 
miles along the track. Then in the summer or fall a crew of five or six 
men would come along with a circular saw, operated by a steam engine, and 
saw the cordwood in two. the proper length for use in the engines. This 
was before the day of the traction steam engine and the saw-rig engine 
would be pushed by the men from place to place on planks. 

When a train came along and wanted fuel it would simply stop any- 
where along the right-of-way where some of this sawed cordwood was to 
be found, the train crew would get off and throw on a sufficient supply of 
wood and then start on their way rejoicing. It can readily be seen that in 
those days it took more than four hours to run from Alexandria to St. Paul. 


Though the country was thinly settled and the pupils not always numer- 
ous, schools were very early established everywhere. The buildings were 
usually constructed of logs and were very small. The school house in dis- 
trict Xo. 22. where the writer obtained all of his schooling below the high 
school, was about eighteen feet long by sixteen feet wide, and at times there 
was an attendance of more than fifty pupils of almost all sizes and ages. 
Sometimes the teachers were very well educated and again their scholastic 
qualifications were more or less limited. The writer can very well remem- 
ber that one of the teachers of this school, in all seriousness, told the pupils 
that no one had been able to get near the south pole because of the extreme 
heat which prevailed there. And he inspired the youngsters with much 
admiration and considerable awe for the knowledge bound up in "Robin- 
son's Common-School Arithmetic" by solemnly stating that only two per- 
sons in all the world were far enough advanced in mathematical knowledge 
to know all that that book contained. One of these was the author of the 
book and the other the King of England. Presumably this teacher was 


even ignorant of the fact that the good Queen Victoria then reigned in 
England. In those days the attendance at school was mostly in the winter 
time and if a boy attended school as much as two or three months during 
the 3-ear, it was generally thought that he was preparing himself for the 


For many years money was scarce and the settlers had little of it to 
spend. Overcoats and overshoes were unknown, and frozen toes were very 
common. However, a home-made remedy consisting of a poultice made 
from unslacked lime and melted pork made short work of frostbites. In 
many families whitefish, caught in the nearby lakes in the fall 'of the year 
and salted down, was an almost daily article of food. 

Although the people were sociable and hospitable, it seemed that quar- 
rels and fights were much more common then than now. And, as the 
British General Gage remarked about the boys of Boston, the pugnacious 
and belligerent spirit of tlieir elders was reflected in the youngsters, and if a 
number of country boys went to Alexandria on a Fourth of July or other 
holiday, they would expect to have a fight with the city boys before they got 
l^ack again. 


The Sioux Outbreak and the Old Stockade. 

"There have been many theories advanced to account for the Sioux out- 
break of 1862, but they are for the most part superficial and erroneous," 
declares the Rev. Edward Duffield Neill in his comprehensive "History of 
Minnesota." Little Crow, in his written communications to Colonel Sibley, 
explaining the causes which had provoked hostilities on the part of the 
Indians, makes no allusion to the treaties, but stated that his people had been 
driven to acts of violence b}- the suffering brought upon them by the delay in 
the payment of their annuities, and by the bad treatment they had received 
from the traders. In fact, nothing has transpired to justify the conclusion 
that when the bands first assembled at the agency, there was anything more 
than the usual chronic discontent among them, superinduced by the failure 
of the government, or its agents, faithfully to carry out the stipulations of 
the different treaties. During the trial of the prisoners before the military 
commission every effort was. made to elicit evidence bearing upon the out- 
break and the motives which actuated the leaders in inaugurating the bloody 
work. The only inference that can be drawn from all these sources of infor- 
mation is, that the movement was not deliberate and predetermined, but was 
the result of various concurrent causes, such as the long delay in the payment 
of the annuities after the Indians were asseml^led, and an insufficient supply 
of food in the interim ; dissatisfaction with the traders ; alleged encroach- 
ment of settlers upon the Indian reservation; ill-feeling of the pagan Indians 
against the missionaries and their converts and the predictions of the 
medicine-men that the Sioux would defeat the white men in battle and then 
reoccupy the whole country after clearing it of the whites. Add to these 
the facts, well known to the Indians, that thousands of young and able- 
bodied men had been dispatched to aid in suppressing the Southern rebellion 
and that but a meager force remained to garrison Ft. Ridgeh- and Ft. Aber- 
crombie, the only military posts in proximity to their countrv, and it will be 
perceived that, to savages who held fast to their traditional attachment to 
the British crown, and were therefore not friendly to the Americans, the 
temptation to regain their lost possessions must have been strong. It was 


fresh in their minds, also, and a frequent subject of comment on their part, 
that the government had taken no steps to punish Ink-pah-du-tah and his 
small band, who had committed so many murders and other outrages upon 
citizens at Spirit Lake in 1857. 


It is, ho\ve\'er. by no means certain that all of these considerations 
combined would have resulted in open hostilities, save for an occurrence 
which proved to l>e the application of the torch to the magazine. Five or 
six young warriors, wearied of the inaction of a stationary camp life, accord- 
ing to Neill, made an excursion along the outer line of the Big Woods in 
a northern direction, with the avowed intention of securing the scalp of a 
Chippewa, if practicable. Being unsuccessful in their search, they retraced 
their steps to Acton, a small settlement in Meeker county, on August 17, 
1862, and through some means they obtained whisky and drank freely. They 
made a demand for more liciuor from a man named Jones and were refused, 
whereupon the infuriated savages fired upon and killed not only Jones, but 
two other men, ^^^ebster and Baker, and an elderly woman and a young girl. 
Terrified at their own violence and fearful of the punishment due to their 
crimes, these savages made their way back to the camp at 'the Lower Agenc)', 
confessed their guilt to their friends and implored protection from the venge- 
ance of the outraged laws. They all belonged to influential and powerful 
families and when the whole affair had been discussed in solemn conclave in 
the "Soldiers Lodge" it was determined that the bands should make common 
cause with the criminals, and the following morning was fixed upon for the 
e.xtermination of the unsuspecting whites at the agencies and of all the white 
settlers within reach. 

According to Holcombe's history of the outbreak it was about August 
12 that twenty Lower Indians went over into the big woods of Meeker and 
McLeod counties to hunt. Half a dozen of the Rice Creek band were of the 
party. One of Shakopee's band, named Island Cloud, had business with 
Capt. George C. Whitcomb, of Forest City, later commander of the stockade 
at Alexandria, concerning a wagon which the Indian had left with the captain. 
Reaching the hunting grounds in the southern part of Meeker county, the 
party divided. Island Cloud and four others proceeding to Forest City and 
the remainder continuing in the township of Acton. On the morning of 
August 17 four Rice Creek Indians were passing along the Henderson and 
Pembina road, in the central part of Acton township. Their names in Eng- 


lish were Brown Wing, Breaks Up and Scatters, Ghost That Kills and 
Crawls Against and none was more than thirty years of age. As these 
Indians were passing the house and premises of Robinson Jones, four miles 
south of the present site of Grove City, one of them found some hen's eggs 
in a fence corner and proceeded to appropriate them. One of his comrades 
remonstrated against the taking of the eggs, because they belonged to a 
white man, and a discussion amounting to a quarrel resulted. The Ghost 
Killer and his three companions went to the Jones house and, according to 
the statement that Jones presently made to his family, demanded whisky 
whicii he declined to give them. Alarmed at their menacing attitude, Jones 
fled from his house to that of his stepson, Howard Baker, living half a mile 
north, whither his wife had gone a day or two before and where at the time 
was staying a young couple, Viranus Webster and wife, Wisconsin folk, 
who were seeking a homestead in Minnesota. UiX)n leaving his home Jones 
left his foster children, Clara D. Wilson, a girl of fifteen, and the latter's 
baby brother. Walking leisurely, the Indians followed Jones to the Baker 
house and there, after some apparently friendly parley, shot and killed Jones, 
Baker, Webster and Mrs. Jones, after which they returned to the Jones 
house and shot Clara Wilson through the heart, but did not molest the infant. 
Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Webster made their way to the home of the nearest 
settler and the neighborhood was aroused, the word of the murders being 
passed on to all the adjoining settlements. 

THE historian's CONCLUSION. 

Holcombe concludes that "all of the attendant circumstances proye that 
the murder of the five persons at .Vcton was not concocted by any other 
Indians than the four that did the deed, and that they had po accessories 
before or after the fact. It was not perpetrated because of dissatisfaction 
at the delay in the payment, nor because there were to be soldiers at the pay 
table; it was not occasioned by the sale of the ten-mile strip of the reserva- 
tion, nor because so many white men had left Minnesota and gone into the 
Union army. It was not the result of the councils of the soldiers' lodge, 
nor of anv other Indian plot. The twenty or more Indians who left Rice 
Creek on .\ugust \2 for the hunt did not intend to kill white people; if they 
had so intended, Island Cloud antl all the rest would have been present at 
and have participated in the murders at Baker's and Jones', and carried off 
much portable jiroperty, including horses. The trouble started as has been 
stated — from finding a few eggs in a white man's fence corner." 


About six o'clock on the morning of the next day, August i8, 1862, 
according to NeilFs account, a large number of Sioux warriors, armed and 
in their war paint, assembled about the buildings at the Lower Agency. It 
had been rurpored purposely in advance that a war-party was to take the field 
against the Chippewas, but no sooner had the Indians assumed their several 
positions, according to the program, than an onslaught was made indiscrim- 
inately upon the whites, and with the exception of two or three men who 
concealed themselves, and a few of the women and children who were kept 
as captives, no whites escaped destruction but George H. Spencer, who 
although twice seriously wounded, was saved from instant death by the heroic 
intervention of his Indian comrade, Wak-ke-an-da-tah, or "Red Lightning." 
A number of persons also were slain at the LTpper Agency, but through the 
agency of "Other Day," a Christian Indian, the missionaries, the Rev. 
Stephen R. Riggs and the Rev. Dr. Thomas Williamson and their families 
and others, numbering in all about sixty persons, were saved, the party being 
conducted safely through the Indian country to the white settlements. 


The massacre of the people, the pillage of stores and dwellings, and the 
destruction of the buildings having been consummated, parties were dis- 
patched to fall upon the settlers on farms and in villages along the entire 
frontier, extending nearly two hundred miles. The scenes of horror con- 
sequent upon the general onslaught can better be imagined than described. 
Fortimate, comparatively speaking, was the lot of those who were doomed 
to instant death, and thus spared the agonies of lingering tortures and the 
superadded anguish of witnessing outrages upon the persons of those near- 
est and dearest to them. The fiends of hell could not invent more fearful 
atrocities than were perpetrated by the savages upon their victims. The 
bullet, the tomahawk and the scalping-knife spared neither age nor sex, the 
only prisoners taken being the young and comely women, to minister to the 
brutal lusts of their captors, and a few children. In the short space of 
thirty-six hours, as nearly as could be computed, eight hundred whites were 
cruelly slain. Almost every dwelling house along the extreme frontier was 
a charnel house, containing the dying or the dead. In many cases the torch 
was applied and maimed and crippled sufferers, unable to escape, were con- 
sumed with their habitations. The alarm was communicated by refugees to 
the adjacent settlements, and soon the roads leading east and to the pro- 


tected centers were crowded by thousands of men, women and children, in 
the wild confusion of sudden flight. 

After accomphshing their mission of death the savages assembled in 
force and attempt to take Ft. Ridgcly by a coup de main. In this they 
were foiled by the vigilance and determination of the garrison, aided by 
volunteers who had escaped from the surrounding settlements. The attack 
was continued for several days, but without success. The town of New Ulm 
also was assailed by a strong force of the savages, but was gallantly defended 
by volunteers from the neighboring counties, under the command of Col. 
C. H. Flandrau. Captain Dodd, an old and prominent citizen of St. Peter, 
was among the killed at this latter point. Ft. Abercrombie, on the Red river, 
also suffered a long and tedious siege by the bands of Sioux from the Lac 
qui Parle country, until relie\ed by a force dispatched by Governor Ramsey 
from St. Paul. 


The first advices of the outbreak reached the state capital on the day 
succeeding the massacre at the Lower Agency! Instant preparations were 
made by Governor Ramsey to arrest the progress of the savages. At his 
personal solicitation, Henry FI. Sibley, a resident of JMendota, whose long 
and intimate acquaintance with Indian character and habits was supposed 
to render him peculiarly fitted for the position, consented to take charge of 
military operations. He accordingly was commissioned by the governor, 
colonel commanding, and upon him in person devolved the conduct of the 

Unfortunately, the state of Minnesota was lamentably deficient in the 
means and appliances requisite to carry on successfully a war of the formid- 
able character which this threatened to assume. The Sioux alhed bands 
could bring into the field from eight hundred to one thousand warriors, and 
they might be indefinitely reinforced by the powerful divisions of the prairie 
Sioux. Those actually engaged in hostilities were good marksmen, splen- 
didly armed, and abundant!)- supplied with ammunition. They had been 
victorious in several encounters with detachments of troops, and had over- 
whelming confidence in their own skill. On the other hand, the state had 
already dispatched five thousand, more or less, of her choicest young men 
to the South, her arsenal was stripped of all the arms that were effective, 
and there was little animuniticMi on hand, and no rations. There was no 
government transportation to be had and the prospect was not by any means 
favoral)le. Goveror Ramsey, notwithstanding, acted with promptness and 



vigor. He telegraphed for arms and ammunition to tiie war department and 
to the governors of adjoining states. He authorized also the appropriation 
for the public use of the teams belonging to individual citizens, and adopted 
such other measures as the emergency demanded. 

There were at Ft. Snelling, happily, the nuclei of regiments tliat had 
been called into service. Colonel Sibley left Ft. Snelling with four hundred 
men of the Sixth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, early on the 
morning of August 20. Upon an inspection of the arms and cartridges 
furnished, it was fovmd that the former comprised worthless Austrian rifles, 
and the ammunition was for guns of a larger and different calibre. The 
command was detained several days at St. Peter, engaged in swedging the 
balls so as to fit the arms and in preparing canister-shot for the six-pounders. 
Meantime arms of a better quality were received, reinforcements of troops 
arrived and the column took up the line of march for Ft. Ridgley, which was 
reached without interruption, and the troops went into camp a short distance 
from the post, to await the reception of rations and to make the final prepara- 
tions for an advance upon the hostile Indians, who had drawn in their 
detached parties and were concentrating for a decisive battle. 


Scouts were dispatched to ascertain the location of the main Indian 
camp, and upon their return they reported no Indians below Yellow Medicine 
river. A burial party of twenty men, under the escort of one company of 
infantry and the available mounted force, in all about two hundred men, 
under the command of Major J. R. Brown, was detailed to proceed and 
inter the remains of the slain at the Lower Agency and at other points in 
the vicinity. The duty was performed, fifty-four lx>dies buried, and the 
detachment was en route to the settlements on Beaver river and had encamped 
for the night near Birch Coolie, a long and wooded ravine debouching into 
the Minnesota river, when, about dawn the following morning, the camp was 
attacked by a large force of Indians, twenty-five men killed or mortally 
wounded and nearly all the horses, ninety in number, shot down. Provi- 
dentially, the volleys of musketry were heard at the main camp, although 
eighteen miles distant, and Colonel Sibley marched to the relief of the 
beleaguered detachment, drove off the Indians, buried the dead, and the 
weary column then retraced its steps to the camp. 

The period spent in awaiting necessary supplies of provisions was made 



useful in drilling the men and bringing them under discipline. So soon as 
ten days' rations had been accumulated, Colonel Sibley marched in search of 
the savages, and on September 23, 1862, was fought the severe and decisive 
battle of Wood Lake. The action was commenced by the Indians and was 
bravely contested by them for more than two hours, when they gave way at 
all points and sent in a flag of truce, asking permission to remove their dead 
and wounded, which was refused. A message was sent back to Little Crow, 
the leader of the hostile Indians, to the efifect that if any of the white pris- 
oners held by him received injury at the hands of the savages, no mercy 
would be shown the latter, l>ut that they would be pursued and destroyed 
without regard to age or sex. 

The success at Wood Lake was i:ot achieved without serious loss. Two 
officers were severely wounded and nearly forty non-commissioned officers 
and privates were killed or wounded. The loss of the enemy was much 
greater, a half-breed prisoner stating it at thirty killed and a larger number 
wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall and Major Bradley, of the Seventh 
Regiment, distinguished themselves, the former leading a charge of five com- 
panies of his own and two companies of the Sixth Regiment, which cleared 
a ravine of the enemy, where they had obtained shelter. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Averill and Major McLaren, of the Sixth Regiment, also performed signal 
service, as did all the officers and men of both regiments. The Third Regi- 
ment, composed of fractions of six companies, fought gallantly, having for a 
time, in conjunction with the Renville Rangers, borne the brunt of the fight, 
and their loss was great in proportion. 


One of the main objects of the campaign, the deliverance- of the white 
captives, was yet to be accomplished, and required the exercise of much judg- 
ment and caution. There was good reason to fear that, in the exasperation 
of defeat, the helpless prisoners might fall victims to the savages. Colonel 
Sibley, therefore, delayed his march towards the great Indian camp until 
the second day after the battle, to allow time to the friendly element to 
strengthen itself and to avoid driving the hostile Indians into desperate meas- 
ures against their prisoners. On the 25th of September, the column, with 
drums beating and colors flying, filed past the Indian encampment and formed 
camp within a few hundred yards of it, on the heights overlooking the junc- 
tion of the Chippewa and the Minnesota rivers, at a point about two miles 
southwest of the present city of Montevideo. Colonel Sibley, with his staff 


and field officers/ then proceeded to the lodges of the Indians and directed 
that all the captives should be delivered up to him, which was forthwith done ; 
a sight thus being presented that sufficed to suiifuse the eyes of strong men 
with tears. Young and beautiful women, who had for weeks endured the 
extremitv of outrage from their brutal captors, followed by a crowd of chil- 
dren of all ages, came forth from the lodges, hardly realizing that the day 
of their deliverance had arrived. Convulsive sobbing was heard on every 
side and the poor creatures clung to the men who had come to their relief, 
as if they feared that some savage would drag them away. They were all 
escorted tenderly to the tents prepared for their reception and made as com- 
fortable as circumstances would admit. The number of pure whites thus 
released amounted to about one hundred and fifty, including one man only, 
George H. Spencer, whose preservation by "Red Lightning" has been noted 
above. Mr. Spencer expressed his gratitude to Colonel Sibley that the latter 
had not made a forced march upon the camp after the battle, stating emphatic- 
ally that if such a course had been pursued, it was the determination of the 
hostile Indians to cut the throats of the captives and then disperse to the 
prairies. There were deli^■ered also nearly two hundred and fifty half-breeds, 
who had been held as prisoners. 


Two of the principal objects of the campaign, the defeat of the savages 
and the release of the captives, having thus been consummated, there remained 
but to punish the guilty. Many of these, with Little Crow, had made their 
escape and could not be overtaken, but some of the small camps of refugees 
were surrounded and their inmates brought back. The locality where these 
events transpired was appropriately called Camp Release and the spot has 
been marked by a grateful state by the erection of a beautiful granite shaft, 
suitably inscribed, commemorating the deeds of Colonel Sibley's relief expedi- 
tion and the release of the captives. 

At the proper time the Indian camp was surrounded by a cordon of 
troops and four hundred of the warriors were arrested, chained together in 
pairs, and placed in an enclosure of logs made by the troops, under strong 
guard. Others who were known to be innocent were not interfered with. 
Colonel Sibley constituted a military commission, with Colonel Crooks, com- 
manding the Sixth Regiment, as president, for the trial of the prisoners. A 
fair and impartial hearing was accorded to each and the result was the find- 
ing of three hundred and three guilty of participation in the murder of the 


whites, and the sentence of death by hanging was passed upon them. Others 
were convicted of robbery and pillage and condemned to various terms of 
imprisonment, and a few were acquitted. The witnesses were composed of 
the released captives, including mixed Ijloods, and of Christian Indians, who 
had refused to join Little Crow in the war. 

The preparations for the execution of the guilty Indians were brought 
to a summary close by an order from President Lincoln prohibiting the hang- 
ing of any of the convicted men without his previous sanction, sentimental 
persons in the East having demanded of the President a review of the pro- 
ceeding of the military court. The people of the state were highly indig- 
nant at this suspension and an energetic protest was made by their senators 
and representatives in- Washington. Finally, after much delay, Colonel 
Sibley was directed to carry out the sentence of the commission in certain 
cases specified, and on December 26, 1862, thirty-eight of the criminals were 
executed accordingly at Mankato, on the same scaffold, under the direction 
of Colonel Miller, commanding that post. The remainder of the condemned 
were sent to Davenport, Iowa, early in the spring, where they were kept in 
confinement for more than a year, a large number dying of disease in the 
meantime. Those that remained eventually were dispatched to a reservation 
on the Upper Missouri, where the large number of prisoners taken by Colonel 
Sibley, principally women and children, had already been placed. 


When the stage brought the news to the Alexandria settlement during 
those fateful days in August, 1862, that the Indians were collecting and 
putting on the war paint at the Yellow Medicine agency, much alarm was 
created in the hamlet and throughout the county, for trouble had been feared 
for some time, and the settlers were warned to flee if they desired safety. 
When the stage driver brought the news of the uprising all the settlers in the 
vicinity of Alexandria congregated on the town site and. held a "council of 
war.'" .\fter some discussion of the news it was decided that the alarm 
must lie a hoax and the farmers were advised to return to their fields, which 
they did. I'our days later a messenger from Go\ ernor Ramsey reached this 
part of the state, driving post haste, distributing arms and ammunition and 
cornmanding the settlers to gather together, or rendezvous, and arm them- 
selves for safety. At Alexandria a few muskets and some ammunition were 
left with J. H. \'an Dyke for distribution and all the settlers that could be 
reached were notified to arm or prepare for flight. On that same day prac- 


tically all the settlers in the community assembled at Alexandria and it was 
then and there decided that the women and children should at once be taken 
to Sauk Center or St. Cloud for safety, and the party lost no time in setting 
out, all save their most valuable personal possessions being left behind. At 
the same time the settlers in the several vicinities of Holmes City, Chippewa 
(Brandon) and Evansville and the few who had gathered in the vicinity of 
Osakis — who had not already gone, got together and all left, most of them 
going to Sauk Center or St. Cloud, while others scattered in various direc- 
tions, it being said that but two of the settlers remained in the county, Andreas 
Darling and N. P. Barnes. They conveyed their families to places of safety, 
but returned straightway and remained on their farms, undisturbed. 

When the first squad of refugees from this section arrived at Sauk 
Center a consultation was held and it was decided that the men should return 
to their farms and attend to their crops. Accordingly, within a few days, 
they were on their way back, most of them being armed with some kind of 
a weapon, among those who returned at that time being recalled the names 
of Messrs Dicken, Barr, Redman, Darling, Barnes, Shotwell, Cowing, Can- 
field, Thompson, Ridley, Gager, Austin, Lewis, Rogers and several young 
men. Upon their arrival at Alexandria the party found everything just as 
it had been left, even the tables set as they were when the affrighted settlers 
had fled. 


Upon finding things at the settlement undisturbed, the party separated, 
the settlers leaving for their respective farms. A number started for the 
Chippewa settlement where Henry Gager" s claim was located and when that 
place was reached eight or ten of the party, including Andrew Austin and 
Ben Lewis started for Evansville to see about Rogers's property and to learn 
whether the Indians had burned the house. Andrew Austin and Ben Lewis 
were riding ponies and had proceeded on Cjuite a distance in advance of the 
remainder of the party who were riding in a wagon. On the way Austin and 
Lewis shot a hawk and stuck the feathers in their hats. When but a short 
distance from their destination they were surprised by a band of about forty 
Indians, who sprang up from their ambush along the trail and surrounded 
the two, firing upon them at close range. The party in the wagon was far to 
the rear and unable to render aid to the entrapped horsemen ; and, indeed, it 
would have been a mark of foolhardiness for the small party to have 
attempted succor in the face of the overwhelming odds presented i)y the much 
superior liand of redskins. 


At the first volley, Austin was seen to reel from his horse, while Lewis 
headed toward the south, escaping the bullets of the savages, his nimble- 
footed pony quickly putting a safe distance between him and his red foe, and 
was soon out of sight^never to be heard of again in this community. In a 
moment the Indians had gathered about the prostrate form of Austin and 
those in the wagon straightway wheeled about and beat a precipitate retreat 
to the point where they had left the rest of the party. There they waited for 
a time, prepared to resist to the death the expected attack, but as none came 
they presently all set out on the return to Sauk Center, abandoning their 
previous design of remaining on the farms which they had left at the first 
alarm. Through the haste of getting away a gun was accidentally dis- 
charged, the contents entering the back of a girl who had accompanied the 
party. At Sauk Center medical aid was secured and she eventually recovered. 
The body of the ill-fated Andrew Austin remained where it fell for several 
weeks, a squad of soldiers that had been dispatched to this part of the state 
then giving it proper burial, a coffin for that purpose being obtained at Alex- 
andria. The soldiers found that the savages had cut off Austin's head and 
one of his hands and then had cut out his heart. 


After the terrible event above related none of the settlers returned to 
Douglas county until after the soldiers were sent to this section, which was 
not until the latter part of October or early in November, and Alexandria 
was created a government post. The first company detailed to that post was 
Company B, Twenty-fifth Wisconsin, under Captain Joshlin, who had 
quarters erected for his command at a point near the original Kinkaid log 
cabin, the first house erected in the county, about a scjuare south of the pres- 
ent railway station of the Great Northern Railroad . Company. About two 
months later Captain Joshlin's command was relieved by Company K, Eighth 
Minnesota, under command of Captain Rockwood, who caused to be erected, 
as quarters for his command and as a means of greater security to the set- 
tlers hereabout, the famous old stockade, which for some years was the center 
of social and commercial activity for this whole region. The old stockade 
was of the familiar form of construction of such structures, generally, erected 
with a view to stability and security against assault, the walls being con- 
structed of logs set endways into the ground, the enclosure being about ten 
rods square. It was erected on the hill near the \'an Dyke Store, just south 
of the present freight depot of the Great Northern Railroad Company, and 


the building of it in the period of mid-winter was quite a task for the soldiers 
and settlers thus engaged. Upon the completion of the stockade practically 
all the settlers who had returned to the vicinity of Alexandria moved into the 
same, J- H. Van Dyke even moving his store inside, all thus acquiring a 
greater sense of security against possible further marauding bands of sav- 
ages, and thus the situation remained at the settlement until the Indian 
excitement had wholly subsided, further fears of an uprising being pretty 
generally at an end before the close of another year, after which there was 
little excitement over the Indians, although it is recalled that as late as 1873 
there was a "scare" throughout this part of the state, vague rumors of an 
Indian uprising driving not a few of the settlers in the sparsely populated dis- 
tricts to more populous centers and causing all to take effective precautionary 
measures such as the molding of bullets and seeing to it that effective bolts 
were placed on houses, but that rumor seemed to be a "false alarm," as there 
was found to be no foundation for it whatever. 

The troops remained at the old stockade until the spring of 1866, by 
which time a sufficient number of settlers had returned to Douglas county, or 
new ones had come in to take the places of those who had fled during the 
uprising, to pave the way for the re-establishment of a formal local govern- 
ment again, Douglas county being officially and permanently reorganized in 
the spring of 1866, as set out elsewhere. During the time the troops remained 
at the stockade there generally was about half a company stationed there. 
Captain Grosvener, with a company of Hatch's battalion, succeeded Captain 
Rockwood and he in turn was succeeded by Capt. G. C. Whitcomb, who 
remained in charge until the post was discontinued and the soldiers dis- 
charged in the spring of 1866. In the meantime, the Civil War had been 
going on and in this great struggle Douglas county nobly performed her 
part in raising men, her quota being furnished without the painful necessity 
of resorting to the draft. After it was discontinued the stockade fell into 
disuse, its timbers were found useful for other building purposes and it long 
since has been a matter of memory only; but among the old settlers the mem- 
ories that cluster around it are imperishable — some sad, some gav, but all 
linked with that early period that witnessed the permanent establishment of 
a definite social order hereabout, a process in which the old stockade plaved 
no small part, the security the presence of the soldiers there gave to the set- 
tlers having been a very pronounced factor in the restoration of civic condi- 
tions after the setback occasioned bv the dre^d rising of the Sioux in the 
summer of 1862. 

Organization of Douglas County. 

For some time after Douglas county was first set apart by the state 
Legislature it was attached to Stearns county for civil and judicial pur- 
poses. In 1859 a move was started to establish Douglas as an independent 
county. P. L. Gregory was the prime mover, and an election was held — the 
first in the county — at Gregory's hotel. Some of the settlers were opposed 
to the project, and only a few voted. It was, therefore, given up, as the 
election was held without authority and was illegal. At the session of the 
state Legislature in 1858- 1859 a bill was passed authorizing the organiza- 
tion of Douglas county for certain purposes, and the Governor appointed 
J. H. Van Dyke, S. B. Cowdry and A. Darling, as the first board of county 
commissioners. The board met at the store of Mr. Van Dyke, at Alexandria, 
and appointed the following county officers: Alexander Kinkaid, register 
of deeds; J. A. James, sheriff, and P. L. Gregory, judge of probate. This 
organization was kept up until the Indian outbreak in 1862, when it was 
abandoned and all records which had been made were lost. Nothing further 
was done with official matters until 1866. when the count}- was permanently 

Douglas county was established with its present boundaries by act of 
the Legislature in 1866, when it was ordered that "The county of Douglas is 
established and bounded as follows : Beginning at the northeast corner of 
township 130 north, range 36 west from the fifth principal meridian: thence 
west on the line between townships 130 and 131, to the northwest corner of 
township 130, of range 40; thence south on the line between ranges 40 and 
41, to the southwest corner of township 127, of range 40; thence east on the 
line between towhships 126 and 127, to the southeast comer of township 
127, of range 36; thence north on the line between ranges 35 and 36, to the 
place of beginning." 


In the si)ring of 1866 the governor appointed a new board of commis- 
sioners to organize the countv. consisting of the following: J. H. A'an Dvke, 


James F. Dicken and Donald Stevison. This board held its first meeting 
on June 15, 1866, at Alexandria, which village, on account of its being the 
principal settlement and located near the center of the county, had been desig- 
nated as the county seat. Mr. Van Dyke was chosen chairman of the county 
board \yhich then proceeded to appoint the following of¥icers : J. Mont 
Smvth, auditor; Charles Cook, judge of probate; J. Mont Smyth, register 
of deeds; Thomas F. Cowing, sheriff; J. Mont Smyth, clerk of the court; 
William Shaw, attorney ; T. W. Moore, surveyor ; Thomas F. Cowing, 
treasurer; Robert Wyman, coroner. 

At this first meeting of the county board two townships were estab- 
lished, Osakis and Alexandria. Osakis township consisted of congressional 
townships 127 and 128, range 36, and Alexandria township included all the 
balance of the county. The board appointed the first officers for Osakis 
township as follows: William Shaw, clerk; J. Maguire, treasurer; T. M. 
Works, assessor; William Shaw and Roland Sanderson, justices; Thomas 
Adams and Charles Gilbert, constables. The first officers apix)inted for 
Alexandria township were: J. Mont Smyth, clerk; H. S. Rutherford, treas- 
urer; T. W. Sprague, assessor; George Cowing and N. B. Johnson, justices; 
John Johnson and Henry Blackwell, constables. 

At the second meeting of the board of county commissioners, held at 
Alexandria on October 4, 1866, a petition having been presented from the 
legal voters in that territory, congressional townships 127 and 128, ranges 
39 and 40, were set apart as a separate civil township, to be known as 
Holmes City township. The board appointed the following judges and 
clerks of the election to be held there: Henry Blackwell, N. B. Johnson and 
Xels Nickelson. judges; T. W. Sprague and Noah Grant, clerks. 


When Douglas county was organized there was a provision in the laws 
of the state allowing county officers, in counties where there was no court 
house, to keep their offices at their homes. For some months this plan was 
followed by the first officers of Douglas county. At a meeting of the county 
board held on January i, 1867, Commissioner Dicken made a motion, which 
was formally adopted, that "The county auditor be instructed to procure an 
office, furnish the same with stove and the necessary furniture, including a 
desk for the safe-keeping of books and papers, and also to furnish said office 
with fuel, all of which at the expense of the county ; also to procure a suit- 
able desk for the clerk of the district court." 


On February 2, 1867, the board voted to issue county order Xo. i for 
twenty-five dollars, to J. H. Van Dyke, to pay for seals for the clerk of the 
court and the register of deeds. At that same meeting the board issued 
county order No. 2 for four hundred dollars, to W. E. Hicks, J. H. Bondy 
and Thomas F. Cowing, for county books. 

In the spring of 1867 \\. E. Hicks and Thomas F. Cowing erected a 
frame building on lot 10. block 59, in the original plat of the village of 
Alexandria, where N. P. Ward's store now stands. It was a two-story 
structure, ha\ing four rooms and an entry on the first floor and one large 
room on the second floor. On March 30, 1867, the county commissioners 
voted to pay Hicks and Cowing two hundred and fifty dollars per annum for 
the use of this building for county offices, the room on the second floor to be 
used only when required for holding court, possession to be given on June 
I, 1867. 

The county officers established themselves in the building on Main 
street in the fall of 1867. Furniture, stoves and fuel were provided and all 
the county business was for a time transacted there. On September 4, 1867, 
James Troag was paid fifty-five dollars for a fine hand-made desk for the 
use of the clerk of the court. At that time none of the county officers devoted 
all their time to the county duties but had private business which required 
attention. Anyone having in hand a matter which required the atten- 
tion of a county official would first find the officer at his place of busi- 
ness, when they would repair to the building used as a court house and give 
the matter official consideration. On account of the small amount of county 
business to be attended to at that time, the early officials soon found that this 
])lan seriously interfered with their private aiTairs and secured permission 
from the county board to take their books and papers to their respective 
stores and offices in the village of Alexandria. 

On December 30, 1868, the county auditor was instructed to lease the 
.southeast corner room in the court house to J. H. \'an Dyke for six months, 
with the privilege of using the room for the county treasurer when necessary, 
Mr. \'an D\ke to pay at the rate of $33.33 per year, quarterly in advance. 
.\t the same time the northeast corner room was rented to Lewis Lewision, 
register of the United States land office, at the rate of $66.66 per year. On 
January 6, 1869, the register of deeds was allowed to remove his books from 
the court house to his office, and on March 9. that same \ear, the county 
auditor removed his books to his store. On June 22, 1869, the southwest 
corner room, occupied by John S. Mower, superintendent of schools, was 
rented to Mr. ]Mower for his use as a lawver's office, the court commissioner 













Wlierp C. O. Peterson's driis store now stiinds. in 1876 Bob Walker bad bis 
■ksmitli shop. The next bnildins; was the home of the First National Bank 

From a photograph taken in 1S76, the site now being occupied by N. P. Wardstone. The little bnild- 
ing was used by James Walker, as a jewelry store, express office, postofEce and office of the clerk of 
courts. The next building was the log store erected by William E. Hicks. 


and sheriff to use the room when needed. The same room was rented to 
John S. Randolph on September 7, 1869. The northwest corner room was 
rented to W. F. Ball for nine dollars per month. 


The little frame building on Main street continued to be used more or 
less exclusively for public business for nine years, but very early the county 
fathers realized that in time the county would need a real court house, and 
with wise foresight began negotiations for ground for a public building. On 
May 26, 1871, the board conferred with W. E. Hicks to secure a piece of 
land in the townsite of Alexandria for a pubHc square on which to erect 
county buildings. Mr. Hicks agreed to give the county a bond for a deed if 
the commissioners, on behalf of the county, would bind themselves to com- 
mence the erection of county buildings within three years and complete them 
in six years. The commissioners were unable to give any such assurance 
and the project was abandoned for the time being. 

On March 27, 1875, Theresa T. Hicks, widow of W. E. Hicks, agreed 
to give the county a bond for a deed to block 34, in the original townsite of 
Alexandria, if the county would erect a court house costing not less than 
$10,000 on or before January i, 1880. This amount was decided to be more 
than the county could afford for a building and Mrs. Hicks was persuaded to 
give the land to the county on condition that a court house costing not less 
than three thousand five hundred dollars would be built before January i, 
1878. The county commissioners at that time were A. H. Ta\lor, K. C. 
Rustad, Roljert Angus, Ole Amundson and AI. J. Gordon. On April 6, 
1876, they accepted the plans of J. X. Herder, for a building fort\' by fift}-- 
four feet. The contract was awarded to Raymond & Owen, of St. Cloud, 
who agreed to build the court house for three thousand four hundred and 
forty-seven dollars. 

J. N. Herder, L. K. Aaker and A. J. Ames were appointed as a com- 
mittee to superintend the construction of the building. This court house was 
completed and accepted on .\ugust 15, 1876. It was a two-story frame 
building, with five office rooms on the first floor and a court room up-stairs. 
A fire-proof vault, nine by twelve feet, was built at the rear of the court 
house, by Stephen King, at a cost of six hundred and seventy dollars. When 
the officials moved into this building in the fall of 1876 the county business 
had increased to such an extent that the principal officers devoted all their 
time to their official duties. For almost twenty years this building ser\'ed 


for conntv purposes, when it was replaced by a modern structure which 
provided not only larger working space, but what was even more important, 
safety \-aults for the storage of the many valuable records of the county. 


Back in the eighties when Theodore Bordsen was a county auditor he 
was largel}- instrumental in establishing a fund for a new court house. This 
fund accumulated through the years and finally grew to sufficient proportions 
to enable the county to erect a new building without issuing a single dollar's 
worth of bonds. On July 11, 1893, the board of county commissioners 
appointed a committee consisting of Fred von Baumbach, L. J. Brown, James 
H. White, John B. Cowing and James Ouinn, to procure and select plans 
and specifications for a new court house. The plans of Buechner & Jacobson 
were accepted on October 10, 1893, ^.nd on January 3, 1894, the general con- 
tract was awarded to Hinckley & Powers, who agreed to put the building 
under roof during 1894, for $26,037.43. Many of the common brick for this 
building were furnished by parties in this count}', namely: J. A. McKay, of 
Alexandria; Norton & Berg, of Evansville, and Gilbert Bracken, of Ida. 
The facing brick were brought from St. Paul. 

Auditor Fred von Baumbach and Commissioner James H. White were 
appointed as a committee to superintend the construction of the building. At 
the time this new court house was erected the county was suffering from a 
serious industrial depression ; cost of material and labor was at a low figure 
and easily secured, and it was principally for this reason that Douglas county 
was able to erect her present handsome court house, including heating, light- 
ing, plumbing and vault fixtures, for the sum of $35,000. 

The building was completed and accepted in the fall of 1895. It is a 
two-story brick structure, the facing being of pressed brick and the trim- 
mings of Kasota sandstone. There are eight offices on the first floor and 
five offices and the court room on the second floor. Fire-proof vaults are 
provided for the safe storage of official records. A basement extends under 
the entire building, providing space for the heating system, work shop and 


On Tune 2'j, 1867, the board of county commissioners voted to authorize 
the county attorney and George B. Cowing to fit up a suitable building to 
be used as a county jail. On January, 1868. the county auditor was instructed 


to ask Charles A. Gilman, then the state senator from this district, to pro- 
cure the passage of an act authorizing the county to issue bonds for the 
purpose of building a jail. However, nothing definite resulted from these 
'various projects, and for about two years after the organization of the 
county prisoners were detained wherever the sheriff saw fit. On Ma}' 30, 
1868, a committee consisting of F. B. Van Hosen, J. H. \'an Dyke and 
George C. Whitcomb was appointed to get proposals and make an estimate 
on the cost of building a jail twelve by fourteen feed, to be built of oak 
timber, with walls, floor and ceiling six inches thick. The contract for a 
building of that description was let on June 30, 1868, and it was completed in 
September, of that year, at a cost of three hundred and fifty dollars. 

This first jail building was located on the rear of the lot back of the 
court house on Main street. Some slight alterations and improvements were 
made to it at various times, but it was never more than the old-fashioned 
"calaboose" common in those days. After the county oiificials had moved 
to the new frame court house in 1876, the little oak jail was sold to R. 
A\'egener for twenty-five dollars. 


Plans for a new brick jail drawn by H. L. Sage were accepted by the 
county board on February 3, '1880. Bids were received on February, 1880, 
and the lowest was that of J. N. Herder, who offered to put up the building 
for $8,640. As this was more than the county could afford to spend for a 
jail all bids were rejected and the board advertised for plans of a jail 
of eight cells to cost more than $6,000. New plans of H. L. Sage were 
accepted and the building contract was awarded to John Aiton for $6,250. 

This brick jail was built due east of the frame court house, twenty-five 
feet west of E street. Surveyor John Abercrombie determined the proper 
grade. After the construction was started the contractor was allowed two 
hundred dollars extra to make the wall one foot higher all around. The 
building was completed in the fall of 1880, and accepted by the county, but it 
was not long, however, until the county officials realized that it was a very 
unsatisfactory jail building. It was mostly underground, dark and damp, 
and while it probably would have been considered a very proper prison in 
the Middle Ages, it did not meet the humanitarian ideals of .the present dav. 

After it had been made to serve as a county jail for a number of vears 
the county grand juries began to condemn it as an unfit place in which to 
confine prisoners. The building was dark, damp and unhealthful, aft'orded 


no proper accommodation fbr female prisoners, was dangerous in case of 
fire and too small for the county needs. In 1899 the state board of correc- 
tions and charities finally and formally condemned the jail, and on July 18, 
1899, the board of county commissioners voted to erect a new jail and 
sherifif's residence. The board at that time consisted of Anton H. Strom, 
John F. Lancleen, J. H. White, Michael Hickey and Roland Bentson. 


On f''ebruary 9, 1900, the county board accepted plans for a new jail 
which had been approved by the state board of corrections and charities, 
and on March 22, 1900, the contract for its erection was let to Aiton Brothers, 
for $8,916. The contractor was to pay $400 for the material in the old jail 
and remove the same from the court house grounds. The contract for heat- 
ing and ventilating was awarded to T. M. Maguire, for $930; the contract 
for the plumbing was given to John M. Bailey, for $620, and the steel cell 
work to the Diebold Safe and Lock Company, for $4,280. The building was 
completed and accepted by the county on December 3, 1900. 

It is a two-story brick building, with sandstone trimmings, of architec- 
tural design to harmonize with the court house, and stands a short distance 
southeast of the last mentioned building. Comfortable C|uarters for the 
sherifif and family are provided in the front part of the building, and ample 
provision is made in the rear for the accommodation of the few persons 
in Douglas county who need be detained under law. The building has 
every modern convenience. 


The population of Douglas county in 1910, according to the Federal 
census report, was 17,669, of which number 4,619 were foreign born, divided 
among the principal foreign countries as follows: Sweden, 1,998; Norway, 
960; Germany, 753; Austria, 244; Denmark, 230; Canada, 116; Finland, 
86; all other countries, 232. While the different nationalities of the foreign 
born population are largely separated into distinct communities they are 
all enthusiastic patriots for the land of their adoption. The population for 
three decades is set out in the following table: 

lino. I'.KM). isoo. 

Ale.xjUHlriii cit.v 3,001 - 2,(isl 2.118 

Alexjiiidiia townsliip 078 072 470 

Belle Kiver fowusliip 719 8!)2 711 

Hr.-iiKldU tnwiisliin 632 075 570 











191(1 190(1 1S90 

Braiulon 27(j 272 225 

Carlos towushiiJ 557 597 435 

Carlos village 1(57 

Evausville township 474 589 580 

Evausville village 389 483 452 

Forada village 66 

Garfield village KjO 

Holmes City townsliip 682 701 746 

Hudson towusliip 492 

Ida township 729 

Kensington village , 244 

La Grand township 850 

Lake Mary township 610 

Leaf Valley township 674 

Lund township 634 

Millerville township 552 

Millerville village 150 

Miltoaa towjiship 417 

Jloe township 689 

Nelson village 157 

Orange township 418 

Osakis township 623 

Osakis village 924 

Soleni township 590 

Spruce Hill township 602 

I'rness township 513 

Total 17,669 17.964 14,606 


A large majority of the settlers of this county who came here from 
ahroad have become naturalizecJ citizens of this county by due process of 
law. The first step in naturalization is for the applicant to make declaration 
of his intention to become a citizen of this country, and is known as taking 
out the first papers. The first person to apply for first papers in Douglas 
county was John Nelson, from Sweden, who appeared before county clerk 
J. H. Van D_\-ke on February 28, 1867. The second was Thurston Severson. 
on March 4, 1867. Halvor Halvorson, from Norway, also came on the 
same day. The fourth man was Thomas Oatmason, on March 15, 1867, 
and the fifth was Erick Peherson Eng., on March 20, 1867. In 1867 
there were 97 applicants for first papers, of whom 59 were from Den- 
mark; 3 from Austria, and i from France. 

The first applicant for second papers, or final proof of citizenship, in 
Douglas count}', was Henr\- Blackwell, a native of England, who appeared 














before county clerk F. B. \"an Hoesen on October 5, 1870. Air. Blackwell 
had taken out his first papers in Meeker county. The second applicant 
was Peter Stranstrup. on October 5, 1870, who presented an honorable dis- 
charge showing he had served three years in the Union army during the 
Civil War. The third name on the records is that of Ole Brandon, who also 
appeared on October 5, 1870, and also presented an honorable discharge 
showing three years' service in the Union army. The fourth man was 
Thomas F. Cowing, a native of England, who had made his declaration of 
intentions in Dane count)', Wisconsin, and secured his final proof of citi- 
zenship on October 6, 1870. On that same day Thurston Halvorson, a 
native of Norway, applied for his second papers, having taken out his first 
papers in Stevens county. 

In 1870 and 1871 there were 95 applicants for second papers in Douglas 
county, of whom 61 were from Norway and Sweden; 29 were from England; 
3 from Prussia; i from Denmark, and i from Russia. In 1896 it became 
necessary for minor aliens to make application for citizenship on a separate 
form. This applied to those who came to this country before their eighteenth 
birthday, but the law was changed in 1906. The following table sets out the 
naturalization record since the organization of the county : 

First Second Minor. 

Papers. Papers. Aliens. 

1867 97 1802 _ 

1S68 128 1893 - 

1869 382 1894 _ 

1870 470 6 1895 _ 

1871 592 89 1896 _ 

1872 194 82 1897 - 

1873 98 157 1898 . 

1874 78 141 1899 _ 

1875 62 1.34 1900 _ 

1876 92 157 1901 . 

1877 28 64 1902 . 

187S 24 51 1903 _ 

1879 30 32 1904 _ 

1880 92 28 1905 _ 

1881 198 18 1906 _ 

1882 318 22 1907 - 

1883 74 22 1908 _ 

1884 224 21 1900 . 

1885 64 13 1910 _ 

1886 130 28 1911 . 

1887 41 31 1012 _ 

1888 180 29 1913 _ 


























































1889 34 

I.SOO 1.32 

ISO! 34 



The following financial statement is taken from the report of the county 
auditor for the year ending December 31, 191 5: 

-•1 ssets. 

Court bouse and grouuds .f 34,700.00 

Jail aud site 14,900.00 

Woodlots aud barn 1,500.00 

Office aud vault furniture aud fixtures 3,500.00 

Ditcb liens, assessed but not due 105,023.81 

Ditcb liens, accrued but uot assessed 4,490.79 

Balance cash in ditcb fund 42,998.92 

Balance casb in revenue fund 3,537.27 

Balance cash in incidental fund 132.45 

Balance cash in mortgage registry fund 1,960.99 

Balance cash in county sanatorium fund 7,629.55 

Balance cash in assurance fund • 7.26 

Due from state of Minnesota, road refund 2,804.42 

Due from state of Minnesota, wolf bounty 229.50 

Taxes for the year 1914 due and unpaid 7,261.10 

Uncollected taxes for 1913 and prior years, estimated 4,936.43 

Fuel in yard and basement 165.00 


Claims filed aud not audited $ 1,144.37 

Ditch bonds issued but uot due 101,800.00 

Warrants outstanding 4,435.86 

Road aud bridge fund overdraft 1,213.73 

Assets and liabilities 127,183.53 




Officials of Douglas County. 

Mention has already been made in the chapter on county organization 
of the officers appointed during the temporary organization effected in 1859. 
During the Indian outbreak in 1862 the county was almost deserted, the 
organization was abandoned and the records lost. It was not until the spring 
of 1866 that permanent government was established in the area now known 
as Douglas county. Governor William R. Marshall appointed J. H. Van 
Dyke, James F. Dicken and Donald Stevison as a board of county commis- 
sioners to organize the county. This board met at Alexandria on June 15, 
1866, and appointed the first officers of Douglas county under the permanent 
organization, as follows: J. Mont Smyth, auditor; Charles Cook, judge 
of probate; J. Mont Snwth, register of deeds; Thomas F. Cowing, sheriff; 
J. Mont Smyth, clerk of the court ; William Shaw, attorney ; T, W. Moore, 
surveyor; Thomas F. Cowing, treasurer; Robert Wyman, coroner. 


The board of county commissioners has always been one of the most 
important official bodies of the county government. The first board pro- 
ceeded to divide the county into townships, also into commissioner districts, 
established school .districts and roads and ferries. The minutes of the meet- 
ings of the board as kept by the county auditor, who is clerk of the board 
of commissioners, serves as a record of the organization and development 
of the county. Following is a complete list of the county commissioners, the 
first name being that of the chairman of the board; beginning with 1886 
the names are given in the order of their respective commissioner districts : 

1866 — J. H. \'an Dyke. James F. Dicken, Donald Stevison. 
1867 — Donald Stevison, James F. Dicken, N. B. Johnson. 
1868— S. T. Russell, O. G. Lincoln, N. B. Johnson. 
1869 — E. G. Holmes, Levi E. Thompson, O. G. Lincoln. 
1870 — Levi E. Thompson, Warren .\dley, T. Evenson. 
1871 — Levi E. Thompson, N. S. W'orden, T. Evenson. 


1872 — Levi E. Thompson, N. S. Worden, T. Evenson. 

1873 — Levi E. Thompson, N. S. Worden, O. Amundson, C. F. Kings- 
land, S. Thompson. 

1874 — Robert Angus, K. Rustad, O. Amundson, A. H. Taylor, AT. 

1875 — Robert Angus, K. Rustard, O. Amundson, A. H. Taylor, M. 

1876 — A. H. Taylor, K. Rustad, O. Amundson, Robert Angus, M. Gor- 

1877 — A. H. Taylor, K. Rustad, O. Amundson, Robert Angus, L. H. 

1878 — A. H. Taylor, R. Bentson, O. Amundson, Robert Angus, L. H, 

1879 — A. H. Taylor, R. Bentson, Thoren Evenson, James Knapton, L, 
H. Webster. 

1880 — James Knapton, R. Bentson, Thoren Evenson, H. H. Wilson, 
James Fitzgerald. 

1881 — H. H. Wilson, R. Bentson, Thoren Evenson, James Knapton, N. 
B. Smith. 

1882 — H. H. Wilson, R. Bentson, Thoren Evenson, Robert Angus, N. 
B. Smith. 

1883 — H. H. Wilson, R. Bentson, Thoren Evenson, Robert Angus, 
N. L. Renter. 

1884 — George W. Robards, O. Amundson, Thoren Evenson, Robert 
Angus, N. L. Renter. 

1885 — George W. Robards, O. Amundson, \'. D. Nichols, Robert 
Angus, N. L. Renter. 

1886 — A. G. Johnson, Ole T. Vinkjer, Rol>ert Angus, Rudolph Wegener, 
James Shinners. 

1887 — A. G. Johnson, Ole T. Vinkjer, Robert Angus, Rulodph Wegener, 
James Shinners. 

1889 — A. G. Johnson, Ole T. \"inkjer, Robert Angus, Rudolph Wegener, 
James Shinners. 

1891 — A. G. Johnson, Ole T. Vinkjer, Peter Sweet, Rudolph Wegener, 
W. H. Crowe. 

1893 — Ole J. Thurstad, Charles J. Johnson, Peter Sweet, James H. 
White, James Quinn. 

1895— Ole J. Thurdstad, Anton H. Strom, Peter Sweet, S. O. Stedje, 
James Quinn. 


1897 — Roald Bentson, Anton H. Strom, John F. Landeen, S. O. Stedje, 
Michael Hickey. 

1899 — Roald Bentson, Anton H. Strom, John F. Landeen, James H. 
White, Michael Hickey. 

1901 — Nels Ekblad, Anton H. Strom, John F. Landeen, James H. 
White, John L. Sather. 

1903 — ^'els Ekblad, John C. Egeberg, John F. Landeen, Edward A. 
Olsen, John L. Sather. 

1905— Nels Ekblad, John C. Egeberg, C. A. Anderson, Edward A. 
Olsen, John L. Sather. 

1907 — Nels Ekblad, L. O. Larson, C. A. Anderson, C. J. Lindstrom, 
John L. Sather. 

1909 — D. J. Davidson. L. O. Larson, Louis Malmberg, C. J. Lindstrom, 
John L. Sather. 

191 1 — D. J. Davidson, Peter Hoplin, Louis Malmberg, John H. O'Brien, 
John L. Sather. 

1913 — Theodore Walstead, Peter Hoplin, Louis Malmberg, John H. 
O'Brien, John Severson. 

191 5 — Theodore Walstead, Peter Hoplin, Louis Malmberg, John H. 
O'Brien, John L. Sather. 


The board of county commissioners appointed J. Mont Smyth as the 
first auditor of Douglas county. The record makes no mention of what 
his salary was to be to start with, but on January i, 1867, the commissioners 
voted to pay the county auditor five hundred dollars per annum. Like the 
other county officers he did not at first devote all his time to the duties 
of his office. 

Following is a list of those who have held the office of auditor, together 
with the years of their service: J. Mont Smyth, 1866-67; G. C. Whitcomb, 
1867-69; William M. Pye, 1866-71; George A. Freudenreich, 1871-72; 
James Fitzgerald, 1872-73; Fred von Baumbach, 1873-80; Theodore Bord- 
sen, 1880-89; Fred von Baumbach, 1889-98; E. P. Wright, 1898-1909; E. 
J. Brandt, 1909-15; C. H. Jenson. 1915, term expires in 1919. 


The commissioners also appointed the first county treasurer, Thomas 
F. Cowing, at their meeting on June 15, 1866. Naturally, there was no 


money in the treasury upon the organization of the county and the early 
expenses were met by issuing orders or warrants on the credit of the county. 
These orders were discounted at the local banks, sometimes as low as sixty 
per cent on their face value, and as they could later be cashed in full they 
returned a very satisfactory profit to the purchaser. 

A complete list of the treasurers of Douglas county is here given : 
Thomas F. Cowing, 1866-69; J- H. Van Dyke, 1869-71; T. W. Sprague, 
1871-75; H. K. White, 1875-79; John Kron, 1879-87; John C. Thornstad, 
1887-89; Erick Erickson, 1889-91; Theodore Bordsen, 1891, present term 
expires in 1919. 


During the first organization of Douglas count}- the record books were 
kept at St. Cloud, the county seat of Stearns county; but in 1866, upon 
effecting the permanent organization, they were sent to Alexandria. The 
first record made regarding land within the limits of Douglas county bears 
the date of July 25, 1862. It is a deed from A. D. Campbell and wife, 
of Dakota county, to H. T. Welles, of Hennepin county, conveying the west 
half of the northeast quarter, and the west half of the southeast quarter, of 
section 19, township .128, range t,"/. and the southwest quarter of section 
19, township 126, range 37, in all three hundred and one acres. The 
consideration was two hundred dollars. The first mortgage recorded in 
Douglas county bears the date of June 17, 1867. Robert Thomas was the 
mortgagor and J. C. Bodwell was the mortgagee. The land mortgaged was 
the southeast quarter of section 34, township 128, range 36. 

The fcillowing have served as register of deeds since the organization 
of the county: J. Mont Smyth, 1866-67; G. C. Whitcomb, 1867-69; F. B. 
\'"an Hoesen, 1869-71; A. J. Ames. 1871-77; Theodore Bordsen, 1877-79; 
W. F. Canfield, 1879-87; Nels E. Nelson, 1887-1900; Oscar Erickson, 
1909-15; John Nelson, 1915, term expires in 1919. 

The duties of the sheriff of Douglas county have never been very 
difficult in the way of dealing with criminals, though there is considerable 
work in the line of civil duties. Some of the early sheriffs were thought 
to favor the saloon element too much, and on one or two occasions a sheriff 
was removed by the governor on account of being a too liberal patron of 
the saloon himself. 


A list of the county sheriffs is here set out : Thomas F. Cowing, 
1866-67; A. Robinson. 1867-68; Lorentz Johnson, 1868-69; G. W. Harper, 
1869-71; Magnus Lundgren, 1871-72; Nels A. Nelson, 1872-73; Ole 
Amundson, 1873-77; Ole Urness, 1877-86; John A. Thordsted. 1886-87; 
Ole Urness, 1887-88: T. J. Barros. i888;89; A. \V. DeFrate, 1889-99; 
J. E. Lundgren, 1899-1911: L. S. Kent, 191 1, present term expires in 1919. 


On March 10, 1868, the board of county commissioners voted "That 
the salary of the county attorney be fixed at one hundred dollars for the 
year 1868, and in addition thereto the board will, in case of an accumulating 
amount of Ijusiness, entertain favorably a bill for extra charges.'" On 
March 9, 1869, the salary of the county attorney was fixed at three hundred 
dollars per annum. Increases in salary corresponding with the increases in 
business have been made at various times since that date. 

The following have served as attorney for Douglas county : William 
Shaw, 1866-69; F- B. Van Hoesen, 1869-71; John Randolph, 1871-73; 
Knute Nelson, 1873-75; Nelson Fulmer, 1875-79; George H. Reynolds, 
1879-83; H. Jenkins, 1883-85; C. J. Gunderson, 1889-1903; Constant Lar- 
son, 1903-13; Hugh E. Leach, 1913, term expires in 1919. 


It was not until the county offices were moved to the present county 
grounds in 1876 that the judge of probate had any regular office, and not 
until several years later that he was in his office as often as one day a 
week. It was not long, however, until the work of the office increased 
so that the incumbent devoted all his time to his official duties as at present. 

The judges of probate in Douglas county have been as follows : Charles 
Cook, 1866-71; H. S. Boyd, 1871-73; William S. Best, 1873-77; William 
McAboy, 1877-85; James S. Fitzgerald. 1885-93; A. G. Sexton, 1893-1912; 
George L. Treat, 1912-13; George P. Craig. 1913. term expires in 1917. 


The land in Douglas county was first surveyed and the corners of all 
sections lotated by government surveyors. Occasional mistakes in measure- 
ments, however, have caused some difficulty in running some of the lines, 


though the original work in Douglas county was done better than in some 
other counties of the state. Besides determining section lines the work on 
the roads and ditches requires the attention of the surveyor. 

Following is a list of the surveyors of Douglas county: T. W. Moore, 
1866-69; Henry Blackwell, 1869-71; L. W. Rima, 1871-75; Charles L. 
Thompson, 1875-79; John Abercrombie, 1879-83; Henry Blackwell, 1883-89; 
John Abercrombie, 1889-1907; E. R. Lausted, 1907-1911 ; John Abercrom- 
bie, 191 1, present term expires in 1919. 

In the early years of the county government it was not customary as 
at present to choose a physician for coroner. The duties of the office were 
extremely light and it was not then considered necessary to make a careful 
inquest should a fatality come under the consideration of the coroner. 

The coroners in Douglas county have been as follows : Robert Wyman, 
1866-71; Daniel Shotwell. 1871-73; Godfrey Vivian, 1873-81; S. W. 
McEwan, 1881-91 ; H. J. Boyd, 1891-93; S. W. McEwan, 1893-99; E. A. 
Hensel, 1899-1903; H. J. Boyd, 1903-07: E. A. Hensel, 1907-11; A. D. 
Haskell, 1911-15; M. B. Ruud, 1915, term expires in 1919. 


The records of the board of county commissioners show that J. Mont 
Smyth was appointed as the first clerk of the district court. He evidently 
did not qualify nor serve for the earliest papers in the clerk's office bear 
the signature of J. H. A^an Dyke as clerk whose name appears on case 
No. I and also on the naturalization and other records. 

Following is a list of those who have served as clerk of the court 
for Douglas county: J. H. Van Dyke, 1866-69; F- B. Van Hoesen, 1869-73; 
James Purden. 1873-79; W. E. Chidester, 1879-81; H. K. White, 1881- 
1903; W. F. Sundblad, 1903, present term expires in 1919. 


The court commissioner has jurisdiction in certain matters when the 
court is not in session in this county, and some of his duties are similar 
to those of the judge of probate. 

Those who have served as court commissioner in Douglas county are 


as follows: N. B. Patterson, 1869-73; Charles Schultz, 1873-91; W. E. 
Chidester, 1891-99; Joseph Gilpin, 1899-1901 ; J. A. McKay, 1901-07; 
George P. Craig, 1907-13; C. H. Jensen, 1913, term would have expired 
in 191 7, but W. F. Sundblad is now acting as court commissioner. 


The early superintendents of the county schools had no certain office 
room and were usually paid so much a day for the time devoted to their 
official duties. Several of the early incumbents in this office were appointed 
by the county commissioners. 

Following is a list of all who have served as superintendent of schools 
in Douglas county: John A. Mower, 1869-73; Smith Bloomfield, 1873-75; 
W. H. Sanders, 1875-87; E. T. Carroll, 1887-91; A. D. Gaines, 1891-95; 
A. W. Curtis, 1895-99; C. W. V'dn Dyke, 1899-1903; Godfrey T.' Englund, 
1903-07; Theodore A. Erickson, 1907-15; George Susens, 1915, term 
expires in 1919. 


Douglas county was first represented in the state legislature under the 
apportionment of i860, which divided the state in twenty-one districts, of 
which Douglas county was a part of the third district, together with eighteen 
other counties. This district was entitled to one senator and three representa- 

The third Legislature assembled on January 8, 1861, and adjourned on 
March 8. Lieut.-Gov. Ignatius Donnelly was the presiding officer in the 
senate, and Jared Benson, of Anoka county, was the speaker of the hnver 
house. The third district was represented by Seth Gibbs in the senate, 
and by Thomas Cathcart, Levi Wheeler and P. S. Gregory in the house. 

. Fourth Legislature — 1862. S. B. Lowry in the senate, and R. M. 
Richardson, Peter Roy and John Whipple in the house. 

Fifth Legislature — 1863. William S. Moore in the senate, and L. R. 
Bently. H. C. Wait and R. M. Richardson in the house. 

Si.xth Legislature — 1864. J. P. W'ilson in the senate, and R. M. 
Richardson, W. T. Rigby and C. A. Ruffee in tlie house. 

Seventh Legislature — 1865. J- P- ^^ ilson in the senate, and Oscar 
Taylor, Louis A. Evans and W. T. Rigby in the house. 

Eighth Legislature — 1866. R. M. Richardson in the senate, and N. F. 
Barnes. Thomas Cathcart and B. Overpeck in the house. 



Under the apportionment of 1866 the state was divided into twenty-two 
districts, of which Douglas county was still a part of the third. This 
district was now entitled to one senator and two representatives. 

Ninth Legislature — 1867. Louis A. Evans in the senate, and N. H. 
Miner and N. Richardson in the house. 

Tenth Legislature — 1868. C. A. Oilman in the senate, and D. G. 
Pettijohn and N. H. Miller in the house. 

Eleventh Legislature — 1869. C. A. Oilman in the senate, and Ludwig 
Robbers and William E. Hicks in the house. 

Twelfth Legislature — 1870. H. C. Wait in the senate, and John L. 
\\'ilson and Isaac Thorson in the house. 

Thirteenth Legislature — 1871. H. C. Wait in the senate, and ^^^ S. 
Moore and Luke Marvin in the house. 


Under the apportionment of 1871 the state was divided into fortv-one 
districts, of which Douglas county was a part of the thirty-ninth, together 
with Pope, Stevens, Orant, Big Stone and Lake counties. The district was 
entitled to one senator and two representatives. 

Fourteenth Legislature — 1872. Ole Peterson in the senate, and F. B. 
\'an Hoesen and O. W. Rockwell in the house. 

Fifteenth Legislature — 1873. J- G. Whittemore in the senate, and 
\\'arren Adley and O. W. Rockwell in the house. 

Sixteenth Legislature — 1874. J. O. Whittemore in the senate, and 
\\'arren Adley and Henry Foss in the house. 

Seventeenth Legislature — 1875. Knute Nelson in the senate, and Mar- 
tin Stowe and J. 0. Whittemore in the house. 

Eighteenth Legislature — 1876. Knute Nelson in the senate, and Mar- 
tin Stowe and J. D. Oood in the house. 

Nineteenth Legislature — 1877. Knute Nelson in the senate, and Michael 
-A. \\'ollan and Ole Amimdson in the house. 

Twentieth Legislature — 1878. Knute Nelson in the senate, and John 
B. Cowing and H. W. Stone in the house. 

Twenty-first Legislature — 1879. A. A. Brown in the senate, and Tohn 
B. Cowing and Ole N. Barsness in the house. 


Twenty-second Legislature — 1881. L. K. Asker in the senate, and C. 
F. Washhurn and F. B. \'an Hoesen in the house. 


Under the apportionment of 1881 the state was divided into forty- 
seven districts, of which Douglas county was a part of the forty-first, 
together with Pope county. This district was entitled to one senator and 
two representatives. 

Twentj'-third Legislature — 1883. ^'- B. \'an Hoesen in the senate, and 
J. H. Van Dyke and Ole Peterson in the house. 

Twenty-fourth Legislature — 1885. F. B. \'an Hoesen in the senate, 
and George W. Thacker and H. L. Lewis in the house. 

Twenty-fifth Legislature — 1887. G. \\'. Thacker in the senate, and 
M. A. Wollan and H. H. Wilson in the house. 

Twenty-sixth Legislature — 1889. G. W. Thacker in the senate, and H. 
H. \\'ilson and Edwin Cox in the house. 


Under the apportionment of 1889 the state was divided into fift}-four 
districts, of which Douglas and Pope counties constituted the forty-seventh 
district, entitled to one senator and two representatives. 

Twenty-seventh Legislature — 1891. Herman A. Grafe in the senate. 
and H. G. Lewis and L. B. Cantleberry in the house. 

Twenty-eighth Legislature — 1893. Herman A. Grafe in the senate, 
and A. G. Johnson and John E. Johnson in the house. 

Twenty-ninth Legislature — 1895. A. G. Johnson in the senate, and C. 
P. Reeves and G. J. Strang in the house. 

Thirtieth Legislature — 1897. A. G. Johnson in the senate, and R. J. 
McXeil and C. P. Reeves in the house. 


Under the apportionment of 1897 the state was divided into sixty-three 
districts, of which Douglas and Pope counties were made the fifty-eighth 
district, entitled to one senator and two representatives. 

Thirty-first Legislature — 1899. C. P. Reeves in the senate, and R. J. 
McNeil and H. C. Estbv in the house. 


Thirty-second Legislature — 191 1.. C. P. Reeves in the senate, and T. 
T. Ofsthun and G. B. Ward in the house. 

Thirty-third Legislature — 1903. G. B. Ward in the senate, T. T. 
Ofsthun and H. L. Lewis in the house. 

Thirty-fourth Legislature — 1905. G. B. Ward in the senate, and T. T. 
Ofsthun and John F. Landeen in the house. 

Thirty-fifth Legislature — 1907. C. J. Gunderson in the senate, and E. 
M. Webster and E. E. Lobeck in the house. 

Thirty-sixth Legislature — 1909. C. J. Gunderson in the senate, and 
Iver J. Lee and E. E. Lobeck in the house. 

Thirty-seventh Legislature — 191 1. C. J. Gunderson in the senate, and 
Iver J. Lee and John J. Anderson in the house. 

Thirty-eighth Legislature — 1913. C. J. Gunderson in the senate, and 
Nels E. Xelson and T. T. Ofsthun in the house. 


Under the apportionment of 1913 the state was divided into, sixty- 
seven districts, of which Douglas and Pope counties were made the forty- 
seventh district, entitled to one joint senator and one representative from 
each county. 

Thirty-ninth Legislature — 1915. E. E. Lobeck in the senate, and Carl 
A. Wold (Douglas county) and Iver J. Lee (Pope county) in the house. 


Township Organization and Early Settlers. 

Douglas county is divided into twenty civil townships which coincide 
in each instance with the respective congressional townships, each one being 
six miles square. The first three townships were established by the county 
l)oard, but the later townships were established by petition of a majority of at 
least twenty-five legal voters. 


At the meeting of the county board held on June 15, 1866, the commis- 
sioners established the first township, to be known as No. i or Osakis town- 
ship. As then formed it comprised all of congressional townships 127 and 
128, range 36. Its name was taken from the lake which lies on the eastern 
boundary of the township. The commissioners appointed the first officers 
for Osakis township, as follow: T. AI. Works, assessor; William Shaw and 
Roland Sanderson, justices: Thomas Adams and Charles Gilbert, constables; 
\\'illiam Shaw, clerk; J. Maguire, treasurer. The present area of Osakis 
township includes only township 128, range 36. 

John Potter is said to have been the first settler in Osakis township, 
taking up a claim on section 25 in 1859. A number of other settlers came in 
soon afterwards but nearly all left this vicinity during the Indian outbreak 
in 1862. As nearly as can ]>e ascertained the first settler on each section in 
the township is mentioned in the following list. John Derocher took land 
on section i in 1862, Thomas C. McClure on section 2 in 1862, Elias For- 
meshill on section 3 in 1864, Elling Semmen on section 4 in 1871, Adam 
Anderson on section 5 in 1866, Ole Solum on section 6 in 1863, Sven .Ander- 
son on section 7 in 1869, Peter F. Peterson on section 8 in 1868, Benjamin 
^\■. \'iles on section 9 in 1862, William A. Seamans on section 10 in 1861, 
Henry H. Anderson on section 11 in 1861, John S. Countryman on section 
12 in 1867. Albert S. Alderman on section 13 in 1861, Elijah G. Gibbs on 
section 14 in 1863, Thomas A. Adams on section 15 in 1861, Ingrin Nelson 
on section 17 in 1867, Hans Hanson on section 18 in 1868, John E. Rineheart 
on section 19 in 1861, Charles Peterson on section 20 in 1869. Charles Giles 


on section 21, 1861, John B. Scherman on section 22 in 1867, Armstead M. 
Gideon on section 23 in 1868, Stephen D. Seamans on section 2^ in 1862, 
Hiram M. Works on section 26 in 1864, Lemuel H. Webster on section 
27 in 1869, James Chambers on section 28 in 1864, Edwin Fairfield on sec- 
tion 29 in 1863, Thor Peterson on section 30 in 1868, Matthew Bartlett on 
section 31 in 1862, William B. Glover on section 31 in 1864, Clay Moore 
on section 33 in 1866, Olinda Graves on section 34 in 1861, and Thomas 
L. Adams on section 35 in 1866. 

The present officers of Osakis township are as follows : A. A. Rooney. 
clerk ; Edward Hanson, treasurer ; George W. LaMonte, assessor ; Joel Han- 
son, A. G. Sorenson and Thomas IMasteller, supervisors; 


^^'hen the board of county commissioners held its first meeting on June 
15, 1866, it was decided that all of Douglas county not included in Osakis 
township should be known as Alexandria or No. 2 township. The commis- 
sioners appointed the first officers, as follow : T. W. Sprague, assessor ; 
George Cowing and N. B. Johnson, justices; John Johnson and Henry Black- 
well, constables; J. Mont Smyth, clerk; H. S. Rutherford, treasurer. 

William and Alexander Kinkaid located in Alexandria township in 1859 
and other settlers came in soon afterward. The few who remained in the 
township during the Indian troubles sought safety in a stockade on the 
Alexandria townsite. The present area of Alexandria township includes 
only congressional township 128, range 37. Some of the first settlers on 
each section are as follows : John B. Gilfillan took land on section i in 
1863, Thomas Watts on section 2 in 1863, William B. Mitchell on section 
3 in 1863, Thomas Aadson on section 5 in 1868, Wooster P. Wyman on 
section 6 in 1869, James Bedman on section i in 1861, Laura A, Kinkaid 
on section 8 in 1863, Aaron Doty on section 9 in 1862, Andrew Holes on 
section 10 in 1864, Edward O'Brien on section 11 in 1868, Peter T. Peterson 
on section 12 in 1864, Nels Anderson on section 13 in 1865, George Caison 
on section 14 in 1865, Annie P. Smith on section 15 in 1863, Chester Wait 
on section 17 in 1864, Peter L. Gregory on section 18 in i860, A. D. Camp- 
bell on section 19 in i860, James S. Mitchell on section 20 in 1862, Charles 
Walker on section 21 in 1863, Martin Debord on section 22 in 1863, Thomas 
White on section 23 in 1862, Hans Anderson on section 24 in 1870, Marv 
Larson on section 25 in 1869, Michael Kennedy on section 26 in 1863, Rich- 
ard Dent on section 2^ in 1863, Rufus Colby on section 28 in 1870, L. \\'. 


Kilbonrn on section 29 in 1865, Roderick D. Hathaway on section 30 in 1862, 
Jesse Hosford on section 31 in 1863, Mary E. Latimer on section 32 in 
1863, Wilhelm Dummert on section 34 in 1869, and Robert Walker on 
section 35 in 1867. 

The present officers of Alexandria township are as follow : A. E. 
Anderson, clerk; J. H. Schlein, treasurer; Einil E. Gahlon, assessor; Louis 
Thorson, Louis Anderson and Soren Jensen, supervisors. 


Holmes City township was established by the board of county commis- 
sioners on October 4, 1866, and at that time included all of congressional 
townships 127 and 128, ranges 39 and 40. The commissioners appointed the 
following election officers for the township : Henry Blackwell, N. B. John- 
son and Nels Nickelson, judges ; T. W. Sprague and Noah Grant, clerks. 
At present Holmes City township is comprised of congressional township 
127, range 39. 

A 'Sir. Holmes, Noah Grant and W. S. Sandford located in Holmes 
City township in 1858. Noah Grant proved up on a claim on section 2, but 
the others did not secure title to any land. Among the other early settlers 
were: Lloyd L. Ely, who took land on section i in 1868, George Blackwell 
on section 3, in 1868, Simon Christenson on section 4 in 1870, Jonas Sjull- 
son on section 5 in 1868, Erick Johanson on section 6 in 1869, Olaf Paulson 
on section 7 in 1869, Nils B. Johnson on section 8 in 1865, Peter O. Kron 
on section 9 in 1865, Henry J. W. Brown on section 10 in 1868, Martin H. 
Strandvold on section 11 in 1870, Andrew Knudson on section 12 in 1869, 
John VV. Gilbreath on section 13 in 1868, Francis Guiles on section 14 in 
1869, Kittel Sampson on section 15 in 1865, John A. Anderson on section 
16 in 1867, Carl A. J. Wahlstrom on section 17 in 1868, Olof Falin on sec- 
tion 18 in 1869, Thurston Severson on section 19 in 1865, Ingerinus E. 
Lobeck on section 21 in 1867, Lars Isakson on section 22 in 1869, Charles 
F. Canfield on section 2;^, in 1868. Miner Van Loon on section 24 in 1865, 
Thomas W. Price on section 25 in 1867, William H. Guiles on section 
26 in 1870, H. B. Westmoreland on section 2y in 1863, Halvor D. Strand- 
void on section 28 in 1866, Nels A. Nelson on section 29 in 1868, John 
Freeborn on section 30 in 1868, Lars J. Dalen on section 31 in 1868, John 
Mattson on section t,2 in 1868. Swan N. Swanson on section t,7i in 1868, 
Ole Evenson on section 34 in 1863, and Halvor Toraasen on section 35 
in 1870. 



In response to a request from the Park Region Echo, Hon. E. E. Lobeck, 
state senator from this district, recently prepared the following brief review 
of pioneer conditions in the neighborhood of his bo3'hood home in Holmes 
City township. "To enumerate the struggles and hardships the first settlers 
had to go through," wrote Senator Lobeck. "would take up too much space, 
but suffice me to say that this lot fell upon a rugged class of people, strong 
in body and mind, who converted the wilderness into a garden spot. 

"My father came to Holmes City in the fall of 1867 and settled down 
in section 21. At that time it took longer to go across the country than 
now. Here is a little bit from father's note book : "Came to New York 
May 5, then on board a train via Easton, Reading and Harrisburg to 
Cleveland. There we were stuffed into one of those renounced, dingy, dirty 
steamboats and taken across Lake Erie to Detroit — on toard a train again 
to Grand Haven and then on steamboat across Lake Michigan to Mil- 
waukee, where a train stood puffing- ready to take us westward, and after a 
few days of jolting and jerking we were dumped off at Prairie du Chiene on 
the Mississippi river and tugged up to St. Paul on a river boat.' There we 
rested for a few days and stretched our arms and legs to find out if every- 
thing was in order and when we found that we had every limb with us, 
we boarded a train and came to St. Cloud, which was then the terminal 
of the domain of the steam-horse. 

"In St. Cloud father bought an ox-team for one hundred and seventy- 
five dollars, a second-hand wagon for one hundred and five dollars, stretched 
a cover over it and took part of the luggage, together with mamma and 
us children and stuck us in the vehicle. 'Get up. Dick and Charley!' and 
off we were and landed in Holmes City the 29th day of May. It took us 
twenty-four days from New York to Holmes City, a trip which is now- 
made in four days. 

"In the township of Holmes City we found a few Norwegians. Swedes 
and Americans — "^'ankees, we called the Americans at that time, .\mong 
the Norwegians we had Kjettel Koltvedt, who lived where Nils Thompson 
used to live later on; Nils Mikkelsen (Haatvedt's place), where we staved a 
few days, and Gunder Knutson. where we stayed during the summer. A 
few other Norwegians were scattered here and there, .\mong the Swedes, 
I may name H. L. Lewis, who is still tilling the soil in Holmes City, and 
Messrs. Svenson, Ole Fahlin, Ole Erickson, Christopher Person and others, 


and among the Americans I will mention Messrs. Blackwell, Canfield, West- 
moreland and the Guiels brothers. These were among the first to tackle the 
big oaks and turn the sod in Holmes City. The Holmes City village was 
founded in the fall of 1858 and it is today one of the most beautifully 
located and cozy inland towns you can find. No one had any crop when 
.we came, l)ut three or four seeded a few acres that spring, but did not get 
much, as the blackbirds did most of the harvesting. 

"Father thought conditions would be better farther to the northwest, 
so he yoked up his team and took the government trail in the direction of 
Ottertail county, but when we reached the old fort at Pomme de Terre 
and from a hilltop looked west across the country — no settlers between there 
and the Rockies, he got lonesome. 'Ho, back, haw, Dick and Charley!" 
and at once he was on his way back to Holmes City. In crossing Chippewa 
river he discovered that the water was packed with fat and beautiful hogs. 
He grabbed a handspike and went down to see what was up and found that 
tlie river was teeming with fish — buffalo fish, mind you — and as no game 
warden was around, father manipulated the spike in such a way that after 
awhile he had the wagon-box full of fish and came in triumph back to Gunder 
Knutson's. 'America is all right!' 

"In the spring of 1867 father bought three cows and paid fifty dollars 
to fifty-five dollars for each. He also paid nineteen dollars for a barrel of 
flour and nine dollars for a barrel of salt. He broke up two and one-half 
acres that year, which was seeded the following spring and we children had 
to run from one end of the field to the other all day chasing blackbirds. In 
the fall after the cradle had been swung and threshing was done, father 
stored away fort}--nine l)ushels of wheat and fifty bushels of potatoes. 

"In the fall of 1867 we moved into our own home. Not very much 
furniture — a few chairs, minus backs; a rude table, and beds one above the 
other — and we children scrambled for the upper one, as it was a glorious 
thing to look down from the 'heights' and note what was going on in the 
room. Lamps? Oh, no! A home-made candle had to do at that time. 
The winter of 1867-68 was bitterly cold and severe. Geese, ducks and deer 
were plentiful in the fall and we lived high. During the summer we had 
fish daily, as the lakes were teeming with members of the finny tribe and we 
youngsters had no trouble catching whole strings of them. 

"During the succeeding springs of 1868, 1869 and 1870 a stream of immi- 
grants came and soon every available quarter section was taken. School 
districts were organized, congregations formed, ministers called, and the peo- 
ple went afoot four to five miles to get to prayer meetings and other gath- 


erings of that kind in the evenings — singing both going and coming. As 
the population increased, strife and cjuarrels came. It was a mighty hard 
thing to get the school houses and churches in the right places. Well do I 
remember a day when hard words were flying, fists were used and axes 
flourished at the foot of the hill between where Ole Mauseth and Ole John- 
son now reside. A school house had been erected at that place and the peo- 
ple farther to the south came and demanded that the institution of edu- 
cation and learning 1)e moved. At the foot of the hill the battle was fought. 
A gentleman of some reputation led the forces for the faction that wanted 
the school house moved — and a genuine Viking, chunky, strong and fear- 
less, by the name of Lars Isakson, was the leader for the other side. This 
Lars Isakson was looked upon by us youngsters as a mighty man. He 
once caught a deer. The brush was thick and Lars dropped himself down 
beside the deer track and all of a sudden a buck came. Lars stuck out his 
hand and grabbed the hind foot of the deer and you may imagine what 
happened. The brush was uprooted — at times they were rolling on the 
ground, at times they \\'ere up in the air — but Lars brought some venison 
home to his family, all right. In that school house fight he stood like a 
wall, even if an ax was flourished over his head. I have a vivid picture 
of that typical Viking in my mind yet. Some small scrappings occurred 
about fishing places in the spring. An heroic battle was fought on a hill 
between two study pioneers, because both claimed the right to a creek where 
the fish went to spawn. A handspike was used by one of the men, breaking 
the arms and legs of the other fellow and for many years that hill went 
under the name of 'Slagter bakken,' the butcher hill. 

"The potato bugs came to visit Holmes City for the first time in June, 
1870, and they came to stay. These abominable, persistent creatures kept 
us children busy and we did not love them at all. Two years afterward 
the black potato bugs came for the first time and threatened to devour every 
potato plant in the township, and then both young and old had to be out and 
do some killing. In the fall the prairie fire kept the people on the lookout and 
many a night the men folks had to leave home to meet this foe, while the 
women and children sat at the windows starring at the glare in the sky, 
fearing that both house and barn would go up in smoke. Great damage 
was done every fall. Nils Abrahamson lost all his grain in the fall of 1872, 
during a terrific fire. The cold winters and the long drives to market made 
it a severe task for the people to dispose of their grain and many a man 
was found dead along the roadside on what we called the Morris prairie. 



We had two extremely severe storms in February, 1872, and when those 
storms were over the prairie were strewn with dead bodies. Some were 
caught going to Morris and some were caught coming from that place. A 
few saved their lives by tipping over the wagon-box and creeping under it, 
wrapping themselves in blankets and empty sacks; but we may imagine 
how it felt to be confined in such a place for three days and three nights. 

"The years went on and the people went through hardships of all 
kinds. The last of the set-backs came in 1876-77, when the grasshoppers 
came and devoured everything. After that time conditions changed; market 
places sprang up closer at hand and today the farmers in Holmes City seem 
to be happy and contented. The first market place was St. Cloud, seventy- 
five miles away; Melrose next, fifty miles awa}^; then Benson, forty-five 
miles ; then Morris, twenty-five to thirty miles away, and then, all of a sudden, 
the Manitoba road liit Alexandria and then the people were singing; and 
then, more than twenty years ago, the Soo came, still closer at hand." 


One of the very earliest settlers in the Holmes City neighborhood was 
the trader and trapper, Lewis, who located a station there for trading with 
the Indians, and he is recalled by settlers who came in as late as 1867. 
At a very early date a postoffice was established at Holmes City and some 
time later a postoffice was established at Moe, with Gunder Johnson as post- 
master. When the railroad reached Douglas county the postoffice at the 
home of Robert Angus, was moved to Garfield and Brandon postofiice 
was moved over to the present location of that town on the railroad. It 
is related that Holmes and Grant, who had come up into this country before 
the days of the Indian uprising, bought out the Lewis trading post and 
that the trading point thus created later came to be known as Holmes City, 
which it still bears, and which name was given the township when it later 
came to be organized, the lake on which the village is situated being named 
Grant, in honor of the other partner in the concern. 

The present officers of Holmes City township are as follow : S. O. 
Wagenius, clerk; John Backelin, treasurer; Olof Wallner, assessor; X. G. 
Nelson, Theodore Swenson and Emil Guldbranson, supervisors. 


On September 3, 1867, the board of county commissioners established 
Chippewa township, comprised of congressional townships 129 and 130, 


ranges 39 and 40. The first meeting was to be held at the house of George 
A. Freundereich, September 28, 1867. The name was later changed to 
Brandon, which township now comprises congressional township 129, 
range 39. 

Henry Gager is thought to have been the first settler in Brandon town- 
ship. He located on section 5 about i860 and others came in soon after- 
ward. Haagan Holing, who died in February, 1907, at his home in Brandon 
township, was one of the early settlers in this township, having come out 
here from Minneapolis, where he was working in the mills, in 1865, and 
filing on the homestead on which he spent the rest of his life. When he 
built his cabin after his arrival here, his nearest neighbor was four miles 
distant. Mr. Holing served as treasurer of Brandon township for more 
than thirty years. 

In the list following is given the names of one of the first settlers on each 
section of the township, with the approximate date of their location. Charles 
A. Dollner took land on section 2 in 1863, John J. Nichols on section 3 in 
1862, Solon Moore on section 4 in 1862, Joseph Hunt on section 6 in 1867, 
George Ward on section 7 in 1865, George A. Freundenreich on section 
9 in 1861, A. A. Noble on section 10 in 1862, Andrew Holes on section 
II in 1862, John Sundblad on section 12 in 1865, Lars Nilson on section 
13 in 1863, Elijah Sandford on section 15 in i860, Job Smith on section 
17 in 1866, Martin Stowe on section 18 in 1862, Hans J. Solem on section 
19 in 1870, Matilda Mcintosh on section 20 in 1862, L. Fletcher on section 
21 in 1862, Fletcher Thom on section 22 in 1862, John D. Aldrich on sec- 
tion 23 in 1868, Ingebret Peterson on section 24 in 1863, John Salmon on 
section 25 in 1862' John Nelson on section 26 in 1865, Ole Peterson on sec- 
tion 27 in 1864. Ole Thompson on section 28 in 1861, Jonetta Halvorson 
on section 29 in 1868, Nels Nelson on section 28 in 1863, Thomas FT. 
Klevan on section 31 in 1S63, Halvor Rassmussen on section 32 in 1863, 
Hans A. Strom on section 33 in 1863, and Halvor G. Kyllo on section 34 
in 1869. 

The present officers of Brandon township are as follow : Emil E. Bergh, 
clerk: Henry O. Olson, treasurer; Anton Holing, assessor; C. O. Augdahl, 
Knute Olaerg and H. H. Evju, supervisors. 


On September 3, 1867, a petition signed by fourteen legal voters was pre- 
sented to the board of county commissioners, requesting that congressional 
township 128, range 39, be established as a separate civil township. This 


petition was granted with instructions that the first meeting be held at the 
house of Thomas Adkins, September 21, 1867.- The township was first called 
Adkinsville, in honor of one of the first settlers, but later the name was 
changed to Aloe, in memory of a district in Xorway, from which a numljer 
of the pioneers came. 

Torer Evenson and family, who had come from Norway to America 
in 1857, settling in Wisconsin, were among the early settlers in ^^loe town- 
ship, settling on the old Evenson homestead there in 1865, coming through 
by ox-team and prairie schooner from Wisconsin and living in their covered 
wagon until a cabin could be built. Moe township then was practically a 
wilderness, there being but few settlers there and those far between, among 
these having been Lars Amundson and Johanes Hanson, Indians being more 
commonly seen there than white people. Amundson had brought out with 
him a grind-stone and that useful article proved so popular with his pioneer 
neighbors and was borrowed so widely that finally, so the story goes, nothing 
was left of it but the hole, and that the neighbor who used it last neglected 
to return. 

Some of the first settlers on each section in JNIoe township, together with 
the approximate date of their location, are mentioned in the following list. 
Arthur A. Flom took land on section i in 1864, Ole Thompson on section 2 
in 1865. Ole Bergerson on section 3 in 1868, Thomas Olson on section 4 in 
1868, Patrick Brown on section 5 in 1864, Monroe Nichols on section 6 in 
1864, Gulick Johnson on section 7 in 1868, Mary E. Chute on section 8 in 
1864, Thomas Larson on section 10 in 1870, Ole K. Lappinger on section 13 
in 1866, John Arntson on section 14 in 1863, Charles Brown on section 17 in 
1868, Amos Johnson on section 18 in 1863, Peter Johnson on section iq in 
1868, Thomas E. Lajord on section 20 in 1863, Knudt C. Brackle on section 
21 in 1863, Lewis Lewiston on section 22 in 1864, Lathan J. Ellsworth on 
section 23 in 1863, George B. Wright on section 24 in 1865, Peter Peterson on 
section 26 in 1863, James S. Mitchell on section 2-] in 1865, Henry C. Wait 
on section 28 in 1865, Hendric Johnson on section 29 in 1864, Ole Amund- 
son on section 30 in 1865, John Nord on section 31 in 1869, Ol^ Brandon on 
section 2,2 in 1863, John Blackwell on section 33 in 1863, Sylvester Yates 
on section 34 in 1866, and Maths Anderson on section 35 in 1868. 

The present officers of Moe township are as follow: Alfred B. Ander- 
son, clerk; Peter Syverson, treasurer; Peter Hanson, assessor: O. E. Sletto, 
Lauritz Severson and Carl J. Pipo, supervisors. 



Lake Mary township was established on September 3, 1867, as requested 
in a petition presented to the board of county commissioners signed by fifteen 
legal voters in congressional township 127, range 38. The first meeting was 
to be held at the home of A. L. Robinson, September 21, 1867. The town- 
ship was named for the large lake of that name in the northwestern part of 
the township. 

The records do not give the exact date of entry of the homesteads in 
many instances, but the following list has the approximate date of settlement 
of most of the sections in Lake Mary township. Matthew Britendahl took 
land on section i in 1864, Charles E. Jenkins on section 2 in 1863, William 
E. Hicks on section 3 in 1863, Hendrick Erickson on section 4 in 1868, 
George W. McComber on section 5 in 1864, Elon Holmes on section 6 in 
1865, Ferdinand Keflo on section 7 in 1867, James C. Ii/Iiller on section 9 in 
1864, Porter Davis on section 12 in 1865, Charles T. McKillips on section 13 
in 1870, Horace A. McComter on section 14 in 1863, William Hounsell on 
section 15 in 1868, Thomas Crooks on section 17 in 1868, Samuel M. Jones 
on section 18 in 1868, Gottlieb Greibe on section 19 in 1868, Stephen W. 
Miller on section 20 in 1868, Margaret J. Fox on section 21 in 1869, Har- 
rison Crandall on section 22 in 1870, Fred J. Colby on section 23 in 1870, 
John Tompkins on section 24 in 1868, Benton A. Livingston on section 25 in 
1863, William Matthews on section 26 in 1865, David Townsend on section 
27 in 1868, George Lansing on section 28 in 1869, Andrew Lansing on sec- 
tion 29 in 1869, Thomas C. McClure on .section 30 in 1864, Isaiah Fairies on 
section 31 in 1864, James A. Beaver on section 32 in 1864, Fred C. Holmes 
on section 33 in 1864, George B. Wright on section 34 in 1864, and William 
H. Harris on section 35 in 1864. 

The present officers of Lake Mary township are as follow : Charles 
Danneck, clerk: Wenzel Bruzek, treasurer; Thomas J. Barros, assessor; A. 
Koudela, Andrew Roth and Frank Radii, supervisors. 


Leaf A'alley township was established by the board of countv commis- 
sioners on November 2t,. 1867. The first meeting was to be held at the 
house of Willard B. Ellis, December 14, 1867. This township comprises 
congressional township 130, range 38. 


In the following list are given the names of some of the first settlers 
on each section in Leaf Valley township, together with the approximate date 
of their location. Enoch H. Alden took land on section i in 1868, George 
Mumm on section 2 in 1870, William Marquadt on section 3 in 1866, Hen- 
rick Thies on section 4 in 1866, Wilhelm Fentzke on -section 5 in 1689, John 
Johnson on section 6 in 1869, Adam Peffer on section 7 in 1869, Emil Nuscke 
on section 8 in 1869, John S. Evans on section 9 in 1868, Herman Peterman 
on section 10 in 1870, Willard A. Alden on section 11 in 1869, Wesley Smith 
on section 12 in 1873, Wallace Kibbe on section 13 in 1870, Samuel Pollard 
on section 14 in 1871, John S. Evans on section 15 in 1870, Peter Smith on 
section 17 in 1872, Andreas Reger on section 18 in 1870, Peter Ley on sec- 
tion 19 in 187 1. Wilson Davidson on section 20 in 1870, Mary A. Lane on 
section 21 in 1870, Lorenzo D. Peck on section 22 in 1868, Isaac Johnson on 
section 2:^^ in 1871, John H. Hartew on section 24 in 1872, Simon L. West 
on section 26 in 1873, J. F. W. Grosenick on section 2y in 1875, August 
Lawrenz on section 28 in 1871, John Comoford on section 29 in 1871, El- 
bridge G. Paddock on section 30 in 1871, Patrick Kelly on section 31 in 1873, 
John Mullins on section ^2 in 1872, Andrew Anderson on section 34 in 1871, 
and Jonas Hult on section 35 in 1871. 

The present officers of Leaf Valley township are as follow : Michael 
Kelly, Jr., clerk; W. H. Venzke, treasurer; H. Julig. assessor; Charles L. 
Julig, J. G. Loeffler and William Schmidt, supervisors. 


Millerville township was established on November 2t^, 1867, by the 
board of county commissioners, in answer to a petition signed by si.xteen legal 
voters from congressional township 130, range 39. The first meeting was to 
be held at the house of John Miller, one of the early and prominent settlers, 
for whom the township was named. 

Some of the first settlers on each section in Millerville township, with 
the year about when they located, are mentioned in the following list. Nicholas 
Langshausen took land on section i in 1869, August Keplien on section 2 
in 1870, Rolden M. Finch on section 4 in 1871, Ignatz KroU on section 6 in 
1876, John Schwartz on section 7 in 1871, Andrew Bader on section 8 in 
1872, Aaron Dewey on section 9 in 1871, John Engler on section 10 in 1873. 
Bernhard Nuss on section 11 in 1873, John Woyda on section 12 in 1873, 
Anton R. Cicky on section 13 in 1872, Mathias Portz on section 14 in 1872, 


Mathias Wunch on section 15 in 1871, John F. Busse on section 17 in 1875, 
Hans G. von Stackhausen on section 18 in 1870, Olof Landin on section 20 
in 1873, John Schafer on section 22 in 1868, John Flesch on section 2'i^ in 
1873, John N. Peck on section 24 in 1871, Joseph Goetz on section 25 in 
1872, George Wagner on section 26 in 1873, Wilham W. Arness on section 
27 in 1873, Andrew J. Arness on section 28 in 1871, Magnus Johnson on 
section 29 in 187:, Edward Uhde on section 30 in 1872, Thomas Lauder on 
section },2 in 1876, Andrew J. Goodwin on section 33 in 1872, and Henry 
McKibben on section 34 in 1873. 

Charles Debetzan, who died at St. Cloud in 1906, was one of the early 
settlers in IMillerville township. He and his family moved to this state from 
Pennsylvania in 1688, settling in Douglas county. At the time of his death 
Mr. Debetzan had twenty-nine grandchildren and fifty-two great-grand-i 

The present officers of Millerville township are as follow: John M. 
Prazak, clerk; Henry Meissner, treasurer; Albin Beckman, assessor; John 
Bitzan, Peter Renkes and Frank Lederman, supervisors. 


Evansville township was established on January 7, 1868, and originally 
included all of congressional townships 129 and 130, range 40. At present 
it comprises only congressional township 129, range 40. The first meeting 
was to be held at the house of Jacob Shawr, February 24, 1868. The town- 
ship was named for a Mr. Evans, who carried the mail through here in 1859 
on the old St. Cloud and Ft. Abercrombie stage road. Later he put up a little 
store on the present site of the town of Evansville and the village was also 
named for him. Evans was killed by the Indians during the outbreak. A 
number of claims were taken about i860 but the country was deserted dur- 
ing the Indian troubles. 

In the fall of 1865, L. E. Thompson took a homestead on the banks of 
Lake Fanny, and was the first settler to locate after the outbreak. A number 
of the sections in Evansville township were first settled by the men named in 
the following list, at about the years given, as nearly as can be ascertained. 
Luther Dearborn took land on section i in 1865, Gustav Willius on section 
2 in 1866, Ole H. Lockren on section 3 in 1865, John Johnson on section 5 
in 1866, Monroe Nichols on section 6 in 1866, John Partridge on section 7 
in 1867, Hans Hanson on section 8 in 1866, Olof Dahlheim on section 9 in 


1870, Jacob Shanar on section 10 in 1865, James G. Butterfield on section 11 
in 1866, Robert White on section 13 in 1865, Pascal Smith on section 14 in 
1869, Knut Larson on section 15 in 1865, Thomas Aadson on section 17 in 
1866, Martin Erickson on section 18 in 1870, Ole A. Knutson on section 19 
in 1867, Andrew Nass on section 21 in 1869, Joseph A. Jenkin on section 
22 in 1867, Isaac Skiles, Jr.. on section 24 in 1865, Jonathan Morrell on 
section 25 in 1868, ^^^iiliam H. Sanders on section 26 in 1871, Mordecai C. 
Pkimmer on section 27 in 1871, Edward Peterson on section 29 in 1866, Ole 
Alberts on section 30 in 1865, Varano G. Bryant on section 32 in 1866, 
James A. Beaver on section 34 in 1866, and George Ward on section 35 in 

The present officers of Evansville township are as follow : A. B. Ander- 
son, clerk; John Saterlie, treasurer; J. H. Kronberg, assessor; T. C. Thron- 
son, Fritz Lindstrom and Ole O. Larson, supervisors. 


Orange township was established on January 7, 1868, by the board of 
'county commissioners, in answer to a petition from a majority of the legal 
voters in congressional township 127. range 36. The first meeting was to be 
held at the house of I. S. English, February 24, 1868. 

Among the- early settlers who located in Orange township were Donald 
Stevenson, who took land on section i about 1864, James B. Wickham on 
section 2 in 1864, Elijah G. Gibbs on section 3 in 1864, Gilbert Sargent on 
section 4 in 1865, Thomas Smith on section 5 in 1866, Julia M. Allen on 
section 7 in 1866, George Plank on section 8 in 1864, James Holes on sec- 
tion 9 in 1864, Daniel W. McCart on section 10 in 1864, George E. Hanford 
on section 11 in 1866, Albert A. Gilbert on section 13 in 1865, Oliver Han- 
ford on section 14 in 1866, John M. Scott on section 15 in 1866, Charles 
Walker on section 17 in 1866, John W. Fulkerson on section 18 in 1866, 
Nelson H. Miner on section 20 in 1866, Isaac T. Andrews on section 23 in 
1865, Morris Ladd on section 25 in 1865, Luther LaPlant on section 26 in 
1864, Gustavus Klatt on section 28 in 1863, John F. Walker on section 29 in 
1864, Patrick Maloney on section 30 in 1865, Robert Thomas on section 31 
in 1863, Jeremiah Plank on section 32 in 1864, George W. Radabaugh on 
section 33 in 1864, and William T. English on section 34 in 1863. 

The present officers of Orange township are as follow : \\\ W. Rarick, 
clerk; Mike Dunn, treasurer; August J. Mechels, assessor: M. G. Dockhani. 
Lewis Baker and John Cassell, supervisors. 



Ida township was established on March 2, 1868. It comprises con- 
gressional township 129, range 38. The first meeting was held at the house 
of Robert Angus, on the first Tuesday in April, 1868. 

James F. Dicken, who located on the shores of Lake Ida, was one of 
the first settlers of Ida township. James Barr and Myron Coloney were also 
early settlers. Some of the first to locate on a number of the sections of 
Ida township, with the approximate date of their settlement, are mentioned 
in the following list of homesteaders who secured a patent to their land from 
the government. Thomas Brown took land on section 2 in 1864, John Torry 
on section 3 in 1863, August F. Braski on section 4 in 1868, Claus V. John- 
son on section 5 in 1871, Leonard West on section 6 in 1871, Pehr Anderson 
on section 7 in 1873, Sylvester Dicken on section 8 in 1865, John Reid on 
section 9 in 1864. Gilbert Brakken on section 12 in 1873, Lars Pederson on 
section 14 in 1871, Erick Ersson on section 15 in 1873, Daniel Russell on 
section 16 in 1863, Solomon R. Kaiser on section 17 in 1864, Benjamin 
Stewart on section 20 in 1868, Jesse Hosford on section 21 in 1864, Erick 
Larson on section 22 in 1871, Henry Richards on section 24 in 1870, Charles 
E. Thomas on section 25 in 1868, William Rutherford on section 2y in 1864, 
J. M. Smith on section 28 in 1865, John J. Muir on section 29 in 1868, 
James Holes on section 30 in 1864, Alexander Richardson on section 31 in 
1864, Julius Frost on section 2^2 in 1863, Owen Osborn on section 34 in 
1863, and S. M. Thompson on section 35 in 1864. 

The present ofiicers of Ida township are as follow : C. J. Christopher- 
son, clerk; Charles Kloehn, treasurer: John A. Norgren, assessor; P. M. 
\'ideen, Charles G. Olson and Emil Bruske, super^•isors. 


Carlos township was established on May i, 1868, at which time the 
board of county commissioners gave notice that the first meeting should be 
held at the house of A. H. Hall, on May 19, 1868. As originally established 
Carlos township included all of congressional townships 129 and 130, range 
37: township 130, range 36, and the west half of township 129, range 36. 
At present it comprises only congressional township 129, range T,y. 

Carlos township settled up rapidly after the Indian outbreak, the greater 
part of the land being taken up under homestead entry. Some of the first 
settlers on a number of the sections of this township, with the vear of their 


arrival, as nearly as can be ascertained, are mentioned in the following list 
of those who secured title from the government. Joseph B. Plymouth took 
land on section i about 1864, William A. Wheeler on section 2 in 1870, 
Charles Engstrom on section 6 in 1865, Sarah J. Brown on section 7 in 
1868, Antoine Klein on section 8 in 1871, John Torrey on section 10 in 
164, William H. Sparrell on section 11 in 1864, Timothy Enright on section 
12 in 1864. Samuel Beidleman on section 13 in 1863, Ova A. Hall on section 
15 in 1864, William A. Cosgrove on section 17 in 1864, Gustav O. Hegg on 
section 18 in 1864, James F. Dilley on section 19 in 1863, Joshua N. Daudna 
on section 21 in 1868, William W. Kaine on section 22 in 1863, Alfred W. 
Prettyman on section 24 in 1863, Hugh Hamill on section 2j in 1864, John 
Van Hoesen on section 28 in 1864, John B. Ellison on .section 30 in 1864. 
Daniel McCarthy on section 31 in 1864, and Napoleon Beedan on section 
7,2 in 1866. 

The present officers of Carlos township are as follow : A. F. ]\Iiller. 
clerk : J. O. Stedje, treasurer ; W. B. Nelson, assessor ; Emil Lundeen, Albert 
Ritten and Tollef Dahl, supervisors. 


On March 22. 1869, the board of county commissioners set apart con- 
gressional township 128. range 40, as a separate civil township, to be known 
as Red Rock. The first meeting was held at the house of Ole Moe. on April 
13, 1869. On February 7, 1871, the commissioners received a petition re- 
questing that the name of the township be changed to Urness, in memor)- of 
a certain district in Norwa}'. 

In the following list are given the names of some of the first settlers in 
a number of the sections of Urness township, together with the approximate 
date of their arrival. Ole Strand took land on section i in 1871, John John- 
son on section 2 in 1864, Christopher Isakson on section 3 in 1864. Martin 
Anderson on section 4 in 1864, Johannes Hanson on section 5 in 1864, Karie 
Petersdatter on section 6 in 1871, Christopher Christopherson on section 7 in 
1864, Hans Johnson on section 8 in 1864, Erick Paulson on section 9 in 
1863, Andrew J. Burke on section 10 in 1863, Thomas S. Holleque on sec- 
tion II in 1863, Ole J. Urness on section 12 in 1865, Bernt J. Burke on 
section 15 in 1870, Erick Nelson on section 17 in 1871, J. Henry Holmes 
on section 18 in 1867, John L. Merriam on section 20 in 1864, Ole E. Fjeld 
on section 21 in 1866, Jens Olsen on section 23 in 1869, Andrew J. Urness on 
section 24 in 1865, John Johnson on section 25 in 1864. Nels Iverson on sec- 


tion 2"/ in 1863. Edwin O. Hillstad on section 29 in 1863, William H. Brad- 
ford on section 30 in 1868, Ole Olson on section ^2 in 1866, Charles R. 
Stewart on section 2^t, in 1863, Isaac Oberg on section 34 in 1863, and Xels 
O. Shattleboe on section 35 in 1862. 

The present officers of Urness township are as follow : O. A. Burkee, 
clerk; Oscar Earsness, treasurer; John Endreson, assessor; Xils Bye, Olaf 
Hakenson and A. K. Burkey, supervisors. 


On March 30, 1869, the board of county commissioners granted a peti- 
tion to establish congressional township 127, range ^,'], as a separate civil 
township. The first meeting was held at the house of John Brown, on April 
16, 1869. Later the name of this township was changed to Hudson. 

Below are given the names of some of the early settlers on each section 
in Hudson township, with the approximate date of their arrival, ^^'illiam 
Smith took land on section i in 1871, Joseph Strong on section 2 in 1870. 
John M. Sissler on section 3 in 1868, William H. Rowe on section 4 in 
1869, William P. Burgan on section 5 in 1869, James H. White on section 
6 in 1870, Edward Phernetten on section 7 in 1867, Orson Shippey on sec- 
tion 8 in 1866, Henry H. Russell on section 9 in 1868, Jacob Gasper on 
section 10 in 1867, Thomas Strieker on section 11 in 1869, Pleates Fry 
on section 12 in 1868, James Purdon on section 13 in 1867, Edwin R. 
Childs on section 14 in 1867, Nelson B. Fullmer on section 15 in 1869, 
Creighton J. Bondurant on section 16 in 1869, Hiram Shippey on section 17 
in 1868, George G. Mitchell on section 18 in 1867, Rial Moulton on section 
19 in 1869, Thomas Parks on section 20 in 1869, Harden Brown on sec- 
tion 21 in 1869, James W. Meyers on section 22 in 1869, William W. Sheldon 
on section 23 in 1867, William H. Briggs on section 24 in 1868, John AIc- 
Cellan on section 25 in 1869, John Meyers on section 26 in 1868, Benjamin 
Sheldon on section 2-j in 1868, Hollis S. Boyd on section 28 in 1868, Eleazer 
C. Phelps on section 29 in 1868, Leander Kellogg on section 30 in 1864, 
Nancy Campbell on section 31 in 1865, William Hogan on section 32 in 
1866, William H. McGee on section 33 in 1866, Porter Davis on section 34 
in 1869, Joseph DeCramer on section 35 in 1868, and George Cassell on 
section 36 in 1869. 

The present officers of Hudson township are as follow : Fred C. 
Meade, clerk; John Lorenz. treasurer; Peter Cassell, assessor; George Mc- 
Mahan, James Butler and John Lorenz, supervisors. 



On ^larch 8, 1870, the board of county commissioners received a i3eti- 
tion to establish congressional township 129, range 36, as a separate civil 
township. This petition was granted and the township named Riverdale, 
with instructions that the first meeting should be held at the house of 
Mathias Klein, March 22, 1870. On January 4, 1871, a communication was 
sent to the county board saying that the township meeting had adopted the 
name of Belle River, instead of Riverdale. This action was approved by the 

Some of the first to locate on a number of the sections in Belle River 
township are mentioned in the list which follows, together with the date of 
their arrival, as nearly as can be ascertained. John Moriarty took land on 
section i in 1865, Martin Lee on section 2 in 1873, Martin Crowson on sec- 
tion 4 in 1873, Michael Fitzgerald on section 6 in 1865, Peter Henry Jr., on 
section 7 in 1865, John Clouser on section 8 in 1868, Frank Ouinn on sec- 
tion 9 in 1870. Henry Cook on section 10 in 1867, Johnston W. Lowrv on 
section 11 in 1865, John Dunn on section 12 in 1865, John Collins on sec- 
tion 13 in 1 87 1, John Petruick on section 15 in 1873, Charles Baumers on 
section 17 in 1868, Stephen Miller on section 18 in 1865, Anders G. Sjogren 
on section 19 in 1875, Nicholas Botzel on section 20 in 1873, Gustav Ander- 
son on section 22 in 1875, George B. Craig on section 2t^ in 1871, Andrew 
Ellsworth on section 24 in 1870, Luther Dearborn on section 25 in 1865, 
Anders L. Helrud on section 26 in 1875, Lars Bergsten on section 2y in 
1875, Haymond W. Clark on section 28 in 1865, John B. Gilfillian on sec- 
tion 31 in 1865, August Forsgren on section 2,2 in 1873, John A. Nelson on 
section ^i, in 1869, Joseph Van Epps on section 34 in 1866, and Obadiah 
Brown on section 35 in 1865. 

George B. Craig, who arrived in 1865, is referred to as probablv the 
first settler in Belle River. Se\'eral others soon settled in that same neigh- 
borhood, among these being John Anderson and his brother-in-law, M. A. 
Anderson. The country in general thereabout was very marshy at that time. 
Mr. Craig had a yoke of steers and a wagon. One of these steers had the 
bad habit of balking in the most undesirable places in the road, and would 
lie diiwn when the roailwax- didn't suit him. One day Mr. Craig prepared 
to go to market with a load of potatoes. He had no sacks and no monev 
with which to buy them and the potatoes were loaded into the wagon-box 
loose. The roads were bad and, sure enough, in crossing one of the difficult 
spots in the road the balky steer laid down on the job. ]\lr. Craig was thus 


put to the tedious task of carrying tlie potatoes across to a dry spot. When 
the wagon-box was emptied the steer conchided to get up and gi). 

There was no mill nearer than Melrose at that time and thither the set- 
tlers went to grind. The first year Mr. Anderson was on his place he raised 
but twelve bushels of rye. which was to be the year's supply for his family. 
He started to Melrose, a trip requiring about five days at that time. When 
he arrived at the mill there the miller declined to grind rye and Mr. .Vnder- 
son had to return with the grain, which Mr. and Mrs. Anderson ground 
during the winter in their cofl:ee-mill. Mr. Craig did the same. He bought 
a coffee-mill of Johnson, the Osakis merchant, the latter guaranteeing the 
machine. After a few weeks of use the cofifee-mill was worn out by the 
extraordinary demand upon it and Mr. Craig took it back to the store and 
claimed a new one, under the terms of the guarantee. This second machine 
also wore out in due course and another machine was secured on the guar^ 
antee, this process being repeated a third or fourth time during the winter and 
it was not until long afterward that Mr. Craig told Mr. Johnson how those 
coffee-mills failed to stand up to the guarantee. 

For about two years during the most trying period a band of about two 
hundred Indians camped on the other side of the river, on the land now 
known as the Renter farm. These Indians were friendly and often visited 
with the new settlers. The Indians had plenty of meat and fish and would 
give liberally of these stores in exchange for potatoes, salt, rye and the other 
products of the white man's husbandry. That they were perfectly honest is 
shown by the following incident. John Anderson had a sieve, which he had 
brought from the old country, and which he used in sifting the grain at 
threshing time. An old Indian had borrowed this sieve and one night about 
two o'clock he brought it back, explaining to Mr. Anderson that the Sioux 
were coming and that the Chippewas were going. The entire camp was gone 
in the morning. The traditional enmity existing between the Sioux and the 
Chippewas from time immemorial made it impossible for bands of the two 
rival tribes to live in peace in the same neighborhood. A gruesome reminder 
of this ancient feud was unearthed in the neighborhood of Chippewa Lake 
some years ago, when the curiosity aroused over the probable cause of a 
slight mound led to an excavation which revealed a few feet under ground 
the bones of a considerable number of human beings, clearly those of Indians. 
From the promiscuity with whfch the bones were mingled it is evident that 
the lx)dies had been thrown into a shallow trench without regard to any 
orderly arrangement and had then been covered over. These evidently were 
the bodies of the victims of one of the numerous battles which were fought 


between warring tribes in this section long before the coming of the white 

The present officers of Belle River township are as follow : L. E. 
Olson, clerk; Nicholas Hintzen, treasurer; John L. Renter, assessor; Mattis 
Clark, John 'J. Dunn and Paul Blank, supervisors. 


Solem township was established on March lo, 1870, in answer to a 
petition signed by Osmund Thompson and others. It comprises congres- 
sional township 127, range 40. The first meeting was held at the house of 
Ole O. Sauslin. The township takes its name from a district in Norway, 
from which place many of the pioneers came. 

In the list which follows are mentioned some of the pioneers who settled 
on a number of the sections of Soleni township, with the approximate date 
of their arrival. Erick Johanson took land on section i in 1870, Jens Lekan- 
der on section 2 in 1871, Ole O. Sarsland on section 3 in 1869, Ole E. Field 
on section 4 in 1866, John Johnson on section 5 in 1866, Daniel Linquist on 
section 6 in 1871, Ole Olson on section 9 in 1871, Paul Nielson on section 
10 in 1869, John Hedstrom on section 11 in 1870, Olof Paulson on section 
12 in 1 87 1, Abraham Nilson on section 13 in 1871, Halvor Halvorson on 
section 14 in 1866, John Peterson on section 15 in 1872, Jens Fahlin on sec- 
tion 17 in 1872, Peter Knutson on section 18 in 1872. Andrew Kullander 
on section 21 in 1871, Christen Olson on section 2;3, in 1874, Isaac Peterson 
on section 24 in 1870, Andrew G. Sohlberg on section 25 in 1867, Erick Hagg 
on section 26 in 1872, Erick Snar on section 2^ in 1871, Peter Swenson on 
section 28 in 1872, Erick Pehrson Eng on section 30 in 1873, and Joseph E. 
Wetterling on section 34 in 1872. 

The present officers of Solem township are as follow : Jorgen Spilseth, 
clerk : Frank Kullander, treasurer ; John S. Benson, assessor ; L. A. Larson, 
X. M. .\nderfon and William Peterson, supervisors. 


Miltona township was established on December 19, 187 1. It comprises 
congressional township 130, range 37. The odd sections in this township 
were secured by the old St. Paul & Pacific Railway Company. The even 
sections were mostly taken by homestead entry and some of the early settlers 
on the \arious sections are mentioned in the list which follows, together with 


the dates of their arrival, as nearly as they can be ascertained. Durfee Mar- 
quette took land on section 2 in 1878, James H. Abbott on section 4 in 1880, 
Frederick W. Balfour on section 6 in 1871, Sven Olson on section 8 in 1878, 
Jason Bumpus on section 10 in 1875, Mary Hill on section 12 in 1885, George 
L. Taplin on section 14 in 1874, Joseph C. Carter on section 18 in 1877, Delia 
Lucas on section 20 in 1876, Harrison Foster on section 22 in 1880, Timothy 
Martin on section 24 in 1875, Charles Jungrath on section 26 in 1871, Frank 
Schram on section 32 in 1877, and Garrett Cronk on section 34 in 1879. 

The present officers of Miltona township are as follow : John O. Hiller, 
clerk : Edward Miller, treasurer ; G. J. Thompson, assessor ; William Better- 
man, Lewis Olbeckson and John Eggleston, supervisors. 


Lund township was established on March i, 1872. It comprises con- 
gressional township 130, range 40. The first meeting was held at the house 
of John \\'ahlin. The original petition asked that the township be named 
Christina, but the name Lund was adopted. About two weeks after the new- 
township was established the commissioners received a petition asking that 
it be set back in the township of Evansville, to which it had formerly been 
attached, but as all the signatures to the petition were in the same hand- 
writing it was not given any serious consideration. 

Some of the homesteaders on the various sections of Lund town.ship 
located about the years given in the following list : They were among the 
first to settle in the township. Hans F. Peterson took land on section 2 in 
1877, Nils J. Walstad on section 4 in 1876, Ole Peterson on section 6 in 
1868. Sven S. Ebbjorn on section 8 in 1869, Thomas Olson on section 10 in 
1871, Lars Ellingston on section 11 in 1877, Anders N. Fjillstrom on section 
12 in 1877, .\ndrew Janson on section 13 in 1876, Ole S. Hernm on sec- 
tion 14 in 1876, Olof Larson on section 15 in 1875, August Peterson on 
section 18 in 1874, Kam Swenson on section 19 in 1869, Anders Janson on 
section 21 in 1876, Gabriel Peterson on section 22 in 1876, .Andrew Skon on 
section 28 in 1869, Grager Kittelson on section 30 in 1876, Charles Johnson 
on section 31 in 1873,' Andrew Johnson on section },2 in 1875, John John- 
son on section -^t^ in 1866, and Milton M. Morrell on section 34 in 1868. 

The present officers of Lund township are as follow : Victor E. John- 
son, clerk ; .\ndrew .\. Lang, treasurer ; A. G. Johnson, assessor ; Anton 
Olson, .-\. G. Olson and .\ndrew P. Nelson, supervisors. 



On September 4, 1873, the board of county commissioners established 
congressional township 128, range 38, as a separate civil township, to be 
known as West Alexandria. The first election was held at the school house 
in district Xo. 47, on September 23, 1873. On December 11, 1873, the com- 
missioners were notified that the legal voters of the township had chosen 
the name of La Grand, instead of West Alexandria, and the county board 
had the change properly recorded in the archives of the state. 

Andrew Darling was the first settler to locate in what is now La Grand 
township. He took up a claim in i860. Others came in about the same time 
but there was very little permanent settlement until after the Indian troubles 
were quieted. Robert Smith took land on section i about 1864, Jacob Ly 
Brand on section 2 in 1862. James F. Dicken on section 3 in 1863, Engebret 
Xielson on section 4 in 1870, Carl G. Johnson on section 5 in 1868, Charles 
Peterson on section 6 in 1871, Francis B. \'an Hoesen on section 7 in 1865, 
Xiels P. Christenson on section 8 in 1869, George F. Cowing on section 9 in 
1861, L. J. Brown on section 10 in 1868, Samuel B. Cowdry on section 11 in 
i860, James Bedman on section 12 in 1861, Hugh O'Donnell on section 13 in 
1861, George Diment on section 14 in 1861, Samuel B. Pinney on section 
15 in 1864, Daniel Egan on section 17 in 1864, Caroline S. Edwards on sec- 
tion 18 in 1863, John O'Brien on section 19 in 1862, George B. Wright on 
section 20 in 1862, James Knapton on section 21 in 1871, Oscar W» Day 
on section 22 in 1865, Mary A. Kinkaid on section 24 in 1861, Louis Morain 
on section 25 in i860, James B. Lattimer on section 26 in 1861, Sophus N. 
Miller on section 2/ in 1868, Amund Mattison on section 28 in 1871, Anders 
O. Solberg on section 31 in 1865, George W. McComber on section 32 in 
1863, and Hendrick Erickson on section 34 in 1872. 

The present officers of La Grand township are as follow: P. M. Eng- 
lund, clerk: O. M. Englund, treasurer: S. M. Carlson, assessor: Ole Satter- 
lund. S. J. Wedin and A. A. IMagnuson. supervisors. 


Spruce Hill township was established on January 5, 1875. It com- 
prises congressional township 130, range 36. The first election was held at 
the school house in district No. 51, on March 9, 1875. 

The odd sections in this township were part of the land grant of the 
St. Paul & Pacific Railway Company, and therefore were not available for 




homesteads. Some of the early settlers who located claims on the even 
numbered sections arrived here about the years given in the following list. 
Samuel Hasbrouck took land on section 2 in 1878, Stekan Slekicher on sec- 
tion 4 in 1876, Joseph Friet on section 6 in 1875,, Michael Barta on section 
8 in 1875, Ole Janson on section 10 in 1878, Tracy Bardwell on section 12 in 
1878, Thomas Primrose on section 14 in 1875, Gilbert F. Sciven on section 
18 in 1877, Louis Nilson on section 20 in 1875, Alvin Milligan on section 
22 in 1879, Chester H. Bardwell on section 26 in 1878, Martin B. Hagblad 
on section 28 in 1875, Hans Matson on section ^2 in 1875, and Andrew 
Lustig on section 34 in 1875. 

The present officers of Spruce Hill township are as follow: Nels 
Nelson, clerk; Frans Anderson, treasurer; E. V. Larson, assessor; Axel 
Peterson, John Lindberg and Charles Hallock, supervisors. 



Development of Agriculture. 

In the days of the beginning of the settlement of this part of the state, 
the development of agriculture was probably as rapid as in any section of 
Minnesota. It already has been noted that the earliest settlers attracted to 
this region were of an energetic and thrifty type and little time was lost in 
bringing the wilderness under cultivation. In nearly all sections of the county 
there was a sufficient area of natural meadow to enable the settler to begin 
his farming operations at once, without the tedious and arduous labor of 
clearing a patch of land before he could get in his first crop and thus nearly 
all were enabled to make an inmiediate and effective start toward the tilling 
of the soil after the little log cabin had been erected as a temporary shelter 
for the family. Plenty of excellent timber was easily accessible for this 
latter purpose and with the expenditure of ordinary energy there was little 
to prevent the average family from becoming fairly comfortably settled within 
a year after taking up a location in the new country. Added to this abund- 
ance of good timber, the numerous running streams and the many lakes of 
good, pure water, together with the unbounded fertility of the virgin soil 
made this section an ideal one for settlement and it was not long after the 
tide of immigration had definitely settled in toward this part of the state 
that the most desirable lands were taken up by industrious and earnest home- 
steaders, who ciuickly brought their places under cultivation; by the time of 
the middle seventies it having been most effectually demonstrated that Douglas 
county was one of the garden spots of the state, a fact which the experience 
of the later years has served to accentuate. 


Douglas county is situated a little southwest of the central part of the 
state of Minnesota, in the division of the state known as the West Central 
Section, alx)ut one hundred and thirty miles northwest of the city c)f St. 
Paul, the state capital, and is nearly on the dividing ridge of that part of the 
state. Within a few miles of its north and west lines the waters flow north 
into the Red river, south into the Minnesota river and east into the Mississippi 


river. It lies in that part of the state which, from its beautiful lakes, streams 
and prairies, dotted with groves of magnificent native trees, is appropriately 
named the "Park Region" of Minnesota. At Alexandria, nearly in the center 
of the county, the altitude is one thousand three hundred and ninety-one feet, 
and on the north line of the county it is somewhat over one thousand four 
hundred feet, being as high as any part of the state except the extreme 
northeast and southwest. The surface of the county is undulating, fine, level 
and rolling prairies, interspersed with living streams, beautiful lakes and 
magnificent woodland. An almost perfect drainage of the county is secured 
by several chains of lakes, flowing out through the Chippewa river in the 
western part of the county, into the Minnesota river, and through the Long 
Prairie river to the east into the Mississippi. There are about two hundred 
lakes in the county, many of them very deep, and most of which have high 
banks surrounded with beautiful timber extending close to the shores, with 
many fine sandy beaches. One of these. Lake Carlos, a few miles north of 
Alexandria, is said to be the deepest lake in the state, and has been sounded 
to a depth of one hundred and fifty feet. There is comparatively little marsh 
or wet land, and much of that has been, or can be, drained. An abundance 
of good, pure well water can always be found at an average depth of thirty 


Douglas county contains 722.6 square miles, divided into twenty town- 
ships, extending thirty miles from east to west and twenty-four miles from 
north to south. According to the United States government surveys it has 
an area of 462,500.62 acres, of which 401,014.74 acres are land and 61,485.88 
acres water. The 1910 census report, however, increases the land area to 
414,720 acres, a part of the increase being due to the drainage of shallow 
lakes and ponds within recent years. 

Throughout the county of Douglas there is an abundant supply of 
choice timber. The northeastern side of the county has a heavy growth of 
native forest, while the central and western parts are dotted over with 
groves which furnish abundant fuel and shelter for stock. Much of the 
timber suitable for lumber has been cut, but there is still some remaining 
which can be used in building barns and other farm buildings. Much timber 
land has been cleared and converted into fine fields. Among the hardwoods 
native to the country are the maple, white, red and burr oak, ironwood, birch, 
ash and elm, while of the soft varieties the principal are the dififerent varieties 
of poplar, basswood, soft maple, cottonwood, tamarack and spruce. 


The soil, almost without exception, is of excellent quality. A heavy 
black loam, or a black sandy loam, from eight inches to six feet deep, with 
clay or hardpan subsoil, varying in depth from eighteen inches to several 
feet, prevails, forming a quality of land of a character best suited to bear 
the extremes either of wet or drought. There are several distinct classes of 
soil found in the count}- which may be termed — the black sandy loam prairie 
soil, the black loam prairie soil, the black sandy loam timber soil and the 
black loam timber soil, all of excellent quality and each having its special 
adaptability to particular crops. There is also the deep, rich black soil of 
the natural lowland meadows and of the lake bottoms which have been 
reclaimed by drainage, conditions thus described rendering the county ex- 
tremely well adapted to the demands of diversified farming. 

The winters are generally cold and the summers generally warm, but 
this locality is not subject to those sudden and unexpected changes which are 
so fatal in their effects and which afflict seaboard and more southern regions. 
The atmosphere is clear, dry and pure and has a tonic property which braces 
and develops the energies and fits a man for great mental and physical exer- 
tion. It is declared by experienced travelers that a person will suffer far 
less bodily discomfort with the thermometer at twenty degrees below zero 
in this locality than he will in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio 
or Illinois with the thermometer indicating zero. Usually there is fine 
sleighing and no slush during the winter. In summer the nights are cool. 
Malarial diseases are unknown in this locality and the rating given to the 
state of Minnesota abreast of any other state in the Union for general health- 
fulness. Hail storms are not so frequent as in states further south and 
cyclones have seldom visited these parts. Hot winds, such as prevail in 
some sections, are practically unknown here. 


The records of the United States weather department, kept at Alex- 
andria, show the mean annual temperature for the past twenty-one years to 
be 41.4 degrees. In 19 14 the highest temperature was 95 degrees on August 
8, and the lowest was 32 degrees below zero on February 8. According to 
an admirable review of crop conditions recently prepared under the direction 
of the Douglas County Agricultural Association, the average dates of the 
earliest and latest killing frosts for sixteen years up to 1908 are September 
23 and May 18. The earliest frost in autumn during the sixteen years 
occurred on September 9 and the latest in the spring was on June 8. In 19 14 


tlie earliest frost was on September 22 and the latest in the spring was on 
May 10. 

The mean annual rainfall for twenty years, 1888 to 1908, as kept by 
the weather station at Alexandria, was 24.23 inches, and for the six years, 
1909 to 1914, it was 24.18 inches. In 1914 the total rainfall was 29.43 
inches. The following figures show the mean rainfall at Alexandria, by 
months, for twenty years to 1908, and also for the five years, 1909 to 1913, 
during the months of April, May, June, July and August, which comprise 
practically the entire crop season, and show that the great bulk of the rainfall 
occurs during those months: 

20 yrs. 5 yrs. 

April 2.23 1.96 

May 3.31 3.98 

June 3.97 2.22 

July 3.44 409 

August 3.71 3.98 

The foregoing figures show that the average growing season is one hun- 
dred and twenty-eight days, which compares favorably with southern Wiscon- 
sin, Iowa and northern Illinois, and is sufficiently long for the maturing of 
excellent crops of corn. 

The population of the county in 1910 was 17,669, of which number 4,619 
were foreign tern, divided among the principal foreign countries as follow: 
Sweden, 1,998; Norway, 960; Germany, 753; Austria, 224; Denmark, 230; 
Canada, 116; Finland, 86; all other countries, 2^2. The different nationalities 
of the foreign-born population and their descendants are largely separated into 
distinct communities and settlements; that is, there are Swedish, Norwegian, 
German, Bohemian, Danish and Finnish settlements. 


According to the census of 1910 the number of farms in Douglas county 
in 1909 was 2,265, comprising 354,379 acres, the average size of the farm be- 
ing 156.5 as against 177 acres for the whole state. The percentage of all 
lands in farms was 85.4 and the percentage of improved land was 62, the 
average number of acres improved on each farm being 97. The value of 
farm lands was $10,694,213, and the value of all farm property was $16,- 
312,224, the average value of farm land per acre being placed at $30.18. 
According to the 1914 report of the state tax commission the value of farm 
lands in that year had increased to $16,976,453. and the average value of land 
per acre to $42.84. 


Douglas county was long famous for raising the largest crops of wheat 
of any county in the state, holding the record for the highest average yield 
per acre for man}- \ears. In the earlier years of its history wheat and other 
cerals constituted its principal crops and little attention was given to the 
raising of corn, live stock or dairying. But the farmers have long since 
awakened to the fact that it does not pay to put all their eggs into one 
basket, and the methods of farming have for the past fifteen years l>een 
gradually changing. The acreage of wheat has been gradually decreased 
and that of corn increased, while more and more attention is being given to 
dairying and stock raising. The result has been better farming methods 
practiced in the raising of all crops, and increased prosperity. 

The following gives the acreage and amoimts of the principal crops 
raised in 1909. the latest date for which accurate statistics are available: 

Acres. Bushels. 

Corn 8,927 308.805 

Oats 23.385 820.913 

Wheat 63.653 1,208,710 

Barley 15.609 413,066 

Rye 3.148 70.998 

Flax seed 4.859 54.013 

Timothy seed 401 2,135 

Potatoes 1,532 178,466 

Hay and forage 56,170 85.972 

In 19 1 5 corn increased to about twelve thousand acres, wheat decreased 
in acreage, while rye and potatoes largely increased. The following figures 
show the average yield per acre of Douglas county crops in 1909. compared 
with the average yield of the same crops in the state : 

Average of Average of 

State. Douglas Couiity. 

Corn ^ 33-99 '^i'- 34-6 bu. 

Oats .. 31.5 bu. 35. bu. 

Wheat, spring 17.4 bu. 19. bu. 

Barley 22.2 bu. 26.5 bu. 

Rye 16.6 bu. 22.5 bu. 

Flax seed 9.1 bu. ii.i bu. 

Hay and forage ' 1.53 tons 1.53 tons 

Potatoes 1 19.8 bu. 116.5 bu. 


Corn has been successfully grown in Douglas county for many years. In 
1899 there were 6,593 acres: in 1909 the acreage had increased to 8,927; in 
1915 there were at least 12,000 acres, which acreage was considerably in- 
creased in 191 6. In the past few years, with the coming of farmers from 
southern Minnesota, Iowa and Illint)is, who are skilled in its cultivation, the 
yield of corn has rapidly increased until it begins to rival the best yields of 
those states. Farmers also are raising more corn for fodder and, while in 
1910 there was hardh" a silo to be found in the county, there are now in the 
neighborhood of one hundretl and fifty, there being at least twenty-five in 
one township alone. By the experiments of the State Agricultural College, 
a number of varieties of white and yellow dent corn have been produced 
that are well adapted to the county, mature early, }ield well and are very 
successfully grown. Among these are Minnesota No. 23, Minnesota No. 13, 
Rustler White, Silver King, Reeves' Yellow Dent and others. 

Douglas county fanners have taken a number of prizes at recent corn 
shows which are worthy of record here. At the corn contest of the Minne- 
sota Corn Growers Association held at Albert Lea, January 2 to 7, 191 1, 
George McMahan was awarded the first prize for the northern section of the 
state for best ten ears of Minnesota No. 13. At the same contest Samuel 
Preston, of Carlos township, received the second prize for the best twenty- 
five ears of any variety, his corn being White Dent; and Eugene Korkowski, 
of Brandon township, received first prize for the entire state for the best ten 
ears of flint corn. And this flint corn was the best in the United States, for 
the second prize winner afterward entered his corn at the national corn show 
at Columbus, Ohio, and received first prize. In 1912 Mr. McMahan won 
first prize for the entire state for the best ten ears of white dent at the 
northwestern live-stock show at South St. Paul. 


For vegetables, it is declared that no soil in the state is better suited 
than that of Douglas county. Potatoes, beets, turnips, onions and all kinds 
of garden and field vegetables grow to fine size and give large yields. The 
growing of potatoes for outside markets has in the past few years become 
an assured success and many carloads are now shipped each year outside 
the state at a good profit. No finer potatoes are grown in the state, a fact 
attested at the scoring at the county exhibits at the Minnesota state fair 
during recent vears, where Douglas county potatoes came into competition 
with a lar^e number of the best counties of the state; in one year, out of a 


possible score of 150 points, Douglas county scoring 149, the highest of 
the twenty-three counties exhibiting. The next year the score was 147 
points, the highest of the thirty-four counties contesting. 

The first potato warehouse in the county was built at Garfield in 191 1 
by a farmers co-operative company, and was so much of a success that in 
1912 a second warehouse was built at that point, since which time warehouses 
have been built at Alexandria, Osakis, Brandon, Carlos, Nelson, Forada and 
Melby. As a consequence of this success the acreage of potatoes has in- 
creased to above four thousand acres and the potato crop is now becoming 
one of the leading crops of the county. 

On many of the older farms of the county apples of good size and fine 
quality and other cultivated fruits are successfully grown, and within the 
past few years many thousands of hardy apple, crab, plum and cherry trees 
have been set out and are doing well. Forty-five varieties of apples were 
shown at the Douglas county exhibit at the state fair recently and the fruit 
exhibits as a whole have scored as high as many counties one hundred miles 
farther south. Large numbers of grape vines and strawberries also have 
Iieen planted and the strawberry crop is especially fine. As much as four 
hundred dollars has been realized from one acre of strawberries. Wild 
fruits are abundant in all parts of the county, grapes, plums, raspberries, 
gooseberries and juneberries are excellent in quality and large in quantity. 

The soil, climate, pure water and timber all combine to make this sec- 
tion especially adapted to stock raising and dairy farming. The soil and 
climate being well adapted to growing corn, clover, timothy, alfalfa and 
nutritious grasses, all kinds of stock do well and cattle and hogs especially 
are increasing rapidly. There have been in the past no serious diseases 
among cattle, ver}- little hog cholera and very few diseases among horses, 
while sheep do extra w^ell here, besides being a great aid in clearing up 
timber and brush lands. According to the bulletin of the Douglas County 
Agricultural Association above referred to, the creameries are getting the 
verv highest prices for butter in the Eastern markets and taking premiums 
wherever they enter butter in competition. There are now fourteen cream- 
eries in the county, eleven co-operative, two independent, and one large cen- 
tral creamery, with the largest capacity, when built, of an}- creamery in the 
state, owned by the North American Storage Company at Alexandria. A 
breeders association was formed in 1909, the first one to be organized in the 
state, and it has been quite successful, having about sixty members, covering 
about half the county. A number of full-blood Holstein and Guernsey sires 
have been purchased and hundreds of grade calves have been raised by its 

i;\iiiKX('i:s (IF iMtdsrEniTT. 



members. The association has also stimulated outside farmers to purchase 
full-blood sires and twenty-five or thirty such sires are now owned by indi- 
viduals. Recent statistics show that the fourteen creameries' had 1,917 
patrons owning 15.107 cows, made 2.215,819 pounds of butter and paid out 
during the year $573,686.02 to patrons for butter fat. To this must be added 
the large amounts received by farmers for cream shipped to central cream- 
eries in adjoining counties and the amounts received by farmers for butter 
made upon the farms, which probably amounts to nearly as much as the 
sum received from the creameries in the county. A recent report of the 
Minnesota tax commission gave the numbers and value of the live stock in 
Douglas county as follow : 

Number. Value. 

Cattle 30,281 $ 870,516 

Horses 10,352 1,045,737 

Swine 10,203 95.064 

Sheep 3,512 14,802 


Douglas county has a complete county system of rural free delivery 
routes by which every farmer in the county is reached. There is also a 
complete system of rural telephones maintained by eight companies, connect- 
ing with each other and with exchanges in Alexandria. Osakis and other 
villages, and with long-distance lines, covering nearly every part of the county 
and giving good service. The county is noted for its good roads, having 
many miles of first class graveled roads, which are being added to each year. 
The National Parks Highway, known as "The Red Trail," extending from 
Xew York to Seattle, passes through the county nearly parallel to the Great 
Xorthern railway, following practically the route of the old Red River trail, 
which was the highway for the famous old Red River carts in the days of 
the fur traders. This road is practically all now graded and graveled, as a 
state road, throughout its forty-mile course in the county. 

Farmers clubs for the discussion of farm problems and for social inter- 
course flourish in Douglas county, nine or ten such clubs doing splendid 
work along those lines. There are also a number of farmers co-operative 
associations for conducting elevators, potato warehouses, the shipping of live 
stock and other produce, the buying of farm machinery and other bulky 
merchandise at wholesale, besides the co-operative creameries above men- 
tioned, and largely attended farmers institutes for the study of scientific 


agriculture and farm problems, conducted b}' state experts, are held in differ- 
ent parts of the county every winter. The prices at which improved farms 
can be bought in Douglas county vary considerable, according to circum- 
stances, ranging from forty dollars to one hundred and twenty-five dollars 
an acre. A successful county fair is held each year at Alexandria by the 
Douglas County Agricultural .Association, which also makes an annual countv 
exhibit at the state fair. 


The efforts to hold county fairs and agricultural exhibits in Douglas 
county have passed through three successive stages of development. From 
the very beginning of agricultural development in this section of the state, 
the farmers and business men of Douglas county have exerted their energies 
in the direction of making a creditable showing of the resources of the 
county and the annual exhibits, together with a constant succession of the 
exhibits of the county's agricultural resources at the Minnesota state fair, 
have done much to establish the reputation of this section as a region of 
much productivity. Early in the seventies voluntary exhibits began to be 
made in the village of Alexandria after the passing of the harvest season 
and on January i8, 1874, the Douglas County Fair Ground Association was 
organized and incorporated for the purpose of holding annual fairs in the 
village of Alexandria, the county seat, the articles of incorporation of this 
association having been signed by Christ H. Raiter, L. G. Sims, Hiram Ship- 
pev, Thomas F. Cowing, Fred von Baumbacb, Charles Shultz, Charles F. 
Sims, J. B. Cowing, Knute Nelson, C. Offel, Charles Sonday, John A. Flesch, 
George H. Roe, Thomas W. Sprague, James H. \'an Dyke, Joseph Gilpin, 
J. M. Doudua, Godfrey Vivian and Frank E. Lewis. 

The above association established fair grounds and conducted annual 
exhibits with a varying measure of success for some years and was presently 
reorganized and succeeded by the Douglas County Agricultural Society, 
which filed articles of incorporation on April 2, 1888. This society was 
organized with a capital stock of ten thousand dollars, with the following 
stockholders; Fred C. Meade, of Hudson; John Landeen, of Ida; B. W. 
Blakesley, of Lake Mary; N. N. Hardy, of Alexandria; Mathias Kline, of 
Belle River; Jacob Kohlhaas, of Carlos; J. F. Dicken, of La Grand; D. E. 
Robinson, of Lake Mary ; Frank Reynolds, Fred von Baumbach, J. H. Let- 
son and G. W. Robards, of Alexandria, and the following directors ; F. C. 
Meade, John Landeen, B. W. Blakesley, Mathias Kline, Jacob Kohlhaas, J. F. 


Dicken and X. N. Hardy. The Douglas County Agricultural Society con- 
tinued holding county fairs and some very creditable exhibits were made 
from year to year, Ijut finally the direction of the society gradually passed 
into other hands, too much attention was paid to the sporting side of horse 
racing and the sporting element which attached itself to the enterprise eventu- 
ally brought the county fairs into such local disrepute that the people of the 
county generally paid little attention to the same, attendance and interest 
both dwindling to such proportions that the societ}- finally was disbanded 
and the fair ground was bought by the city of Alexandria for e\xntual park 
purposes or such purposes as may eventually be found most advantageous to 
the city, and the annual , county fair exhibits ceased for a time. During the 
years 1907-10, annual fairs were held at Alexandria under the auspices of 
the Alexandria Commercial Club. 

On August 25, 19 II, the present Douglas County Agricultural Asso- 
ciation was organized and on September 5 of that year filed articles of incor- 
poration, under the above title, the names and addresses of the incorporators 
being as follow: Nels Bye, of Urness; Ole J. Berg, of Moe: B. E. Howe, of 
Osagis; C. H. Cooper, of Carlos; John H. O'Brien, of Alexandria; Fred C. 
Meade, of Hudson; John A. Johnson, of Ida; Theo. A. Erickson, J. A. 
W'edum, G. A. Kortsch and A. H. Gregerson, of Alexandria, with the fol- 
lowing officers ; President, Theo. A. Erickson ; vice-president, Fred C. 
Meade ; secretary, George L. Treat, and treasurer, G. A. Kortsch. This 
association has not yet purchased fair grounds, but has done a fine work in 
making a concerted efifort to promote the agricultural interests of Douglas 
county and to introduce the advantages of this section as an agricultural 
region by means of well-designed publications and' other forms of publicity 
to persons seeking homes in the beautiful park region of which the associa- 
tion's base of operations is the virtual center. Attractive exhibits have been 
made in the city of Alexandria with a view to showing the advance that has 
been made in recent 3'ears in the methods and results of modern farming and 
as a further means of interesting all in the wonderful agricultural possibili- 
ties of the county. The association also makes an annual county exhibit at 
the state fair and through this latter means has done much to attract the 
attention of people from all parts of the state to Douglas county. 


Douglas county is a famous summer resort. Its two hundred lakes of 
pure, deep water, with their beautiful, timbered shores and sandy beaches, 


furnish a resting place and recreation for many hundreds of people from all 
parts of the United States during the summer months. The finishing is of the 
best, among the varieties of fish to be found in the lakes being pickerel, wall- 
eyed pike, Great Northern pike, crappies, and at least six varieties of bass, 
including the gamey, small-mouthed gray bass and the black bass, all of 
which attain a size wholly unknown outside of the Minnesota park region. 
While the tourist resorts center at Alexandria and Osakis, good accommoda- 
tions also are provided at many small resorts and farm houses throughout 
the county. 


The Minnesota state Legislature passed an act in 1909 under the pro- 
visions of which any farm owner in the state may secure exclusive right to a 
name for his farm by having the same recorded with the register of deeds 
in the county where he lives. A fee of onl}- fifty cents is charged to cover 
the cost of the clerical work. Up to August, 19 16, one hundred and nine- 
teen farm names were registered in Douglas county, and the owners and 
location of the same are set out in the following paragraphs: 

"Birch Hill" — Owned by C. H. Jenson; registered on July 2, 1909; 
located on section 24, township 128, range 37. 

"Riveiview" — Owned by Oscar Erickson; registered on July 2, 1909; 
located on section t,2, t^t,, township 129, range 40. 

"Lakeside"" — Owned by XewtonJ. Trenham; registered on July 9, 1909; 
located in section 18, township 128, range ^,7. 

"Pleasant \'ie\v'" — Owned by C. H. Cooper; registered on July 10, 
1909; located on section 13. township 129, range 37. 

"Lund"" — Owned by Ole Haglund; registered on July 13, 1909; located 
on section 17, township 128, range 38. 

"Eagle Point" — Owned by E. E. Hedeen; registered on July 20, 1909; 
located on section 12, township 129, range 39. 

"Lake Shore"" — Owned by Jacob E. Jacobson; registered on July 20, 
1909: located on section 13. township 129, range 39. 

"Cloverdale" — Owned b\- Leander Kellogg: registered on July 2^, 1909; 
located on sections 28, 29, t,j. ^t,, township 127, rdnge 2i7- 

"Runboholm"' — Owned by Oscar Wolf; registered on July 26, 1909; 
located on section 2, township 127, range 39. 

"Coney Island"" — Owned by Paul W. Hanson; registered on July 26, 
1909: located on section 2, township 127. range 39. 


"Elmwood" — Owned by C. E. Warberg; registered on July 2-], 1909; 
located on section 25, township 129, range 36. 

"Urness Lakeside" — Owned by E. J. Olson; registered on July 28, 1909; 
located on sections 14, 2:i,, township 128, range 40. 

"Greenwing Pass" — Owned b\- John E. Anderson; registered on Jul\- 
28, 1909; located on section 12, township 127, range 40, and section 7, 
township 127, range 39. 

"Elm Grove" — Owned Ijy C. J. Peterson; registered on July 28, 1909; 
located on section 11, township 127, range 39. 

"Maple Hill" — Owned by Annie Johnson; registered on July 28, 1909; 
located on section 11, township 127, range 39. 

"Lakeview" — Owned by Louis Morris; registered on July 30, 1909; 
located on section 20, township 127, range 37. 

"Oak Grove" — Owned by Peter N. Johnson; registered on July 31, 
1909; located on section 26, township 128, range 38. 

"Maple Lane" — Owned by George A. Swaren ; registered on August 2, 
1909; located on section 27, township 128, range 37. 

"Sunnyside" — Owned by Ambrose Peet; registered on August 14, 1909; 
located on section I},, township 128, range 38. 

"Fairview" — Owned by C. O. Weatherwax; registered on August 16, 
1909; located on sections 21, 22, township 129, range t^J. 

"Riverside" — Owned by F. W. Craig; registered on August 21, 1909; 
located on sections 13, 14, 24, township 129, range 36. 

"Korum Farm" — Owned by Aune O. Korum; registered on August 28, 
1909; located on sections 5, 6, township 128. range 39. 

"Fairfield" — Owned by Anton Lund; registered on September 11, 
1909; located on section 15, townshii> 128, range 38. 

"Butternut Lawn" — Owned by Carolina Miessner; registered on Sep- 
tember 18, 1909; located on sections 27, 34, township 120, range 39. 

"Evansville Fairview" — Owned by Ellen J. Okerlund ; registered on 
September 2-3^, 1909; located on sections 29, 31, ^2. township 129, 
range 40. 

"Cosy Nook" — Owned by Ellen J. Okerlund; registered on September 
23, 1909; located on section },2, township 129, range 40. 

"Sandvik" — Owned by C. H. Larson; registered on September 24, 
1909; located on section 14, township 128, range 37. 

"Oakland" — Owned by Charles O. Anderson; registered on October 4, 
1909; located on sections 31, }^2, township 129, range 2,1- 


"Grand View" — Owned by Mina O. Newhouse; registered on October 
9, 1909; located on sections 29, 32, township 129, range 39. 

"Woodland" — Owned by John Anderson; registered on OctoJjer 9, 
1909: located on sections 26, 27, 35, township 128, range 39. 

"Maplewood" — Owned by B. W. Blakesley; registered on October 23, 
1909; located on sections 11, 13, 14, township 127, range 38. 

"Clover Crest" — Owned by William Hermanson; registered on October 
26, 1909; located on section 7, township 129, range 38. 

"The Oaks" — Owned by R. J. Ballentine; registered on November 10. 
1909: located on section 7, township 128, range 37. 

"Glen Oak" — Owned by C. X"auman ; registered on November 
17, 1909; located on sections 2"], 28, township 129, range t,"]. 

"Birch Lawn" — Owned by E. H. Boerner; registered on November 17, 
1909; located on sections 28, 29, township 129, range 37. 

"Oakdale" — Owned by Erick E. Ekdahl; registered on November 24, 
1909; located on section 35, township 129, range 38, and section 2, town- 
ship 128, range 38. 

"Lake Center" — Owned by J. N. Tilleskjor; registered on November 26, 
1909; located on section 11, township 128, range 40. 

"Clover Leaf" — Owned by John S. Wagner; registered on November 
30, 1909; located on section 33, township 130, range 39. 

"Oak Lawn" — Owned by John Kelly ; registered on December 8, 1909 ; 
located on section 28, township 130, range 38. 

"Willow Grove" — Owned \>\ Christian Pitir^on ; registered on Decem- 
lier II, 1909; located on section 22, township 128, range 38. 

"Lugn Vik" — Owned by Per Hanson; registered .on December 16, 
1909; located on section 2, township 127, range 39. 

"Cranberry Farm" — Owned by James Lauda; registered on December 
28, 1909; located on sections 2, 3, 11, township 129, range 39. 

"Broadview" — Owned by J. O. Brandon; registered on December 31. 
1909: located on sections })-• H' township 128, range 39. 

"Park Hill" — Owned by A. J. Peterson; registered on January 13. 
1910; located on section 9, township 129, range 39. 

"Pine Hill" — Owne<l by A. H. Englund; registered on Januarv 24, 
1910; located on section 15. township 127, range 39. 

"Lilac Grove" — Owned by Gustaf Olson; registered on January 26, 
1910; located on section 15, township 127, range 39. 

"Lake Park" — Owned b\' P. A. Lofdahl ; registered on February 7, 
1910; located on sections 20, 21, township 130, range 39. 


"Prairie \'iolet" — Owned by Amund Holverson; registered on Febru- 
ary 7. 1910; located on section 2, township 128, range 40. 

"Woodside" — Owned by Paul E. Foslin; registered on February 7, 
1910; located on sections 15, 16, township 128, range 39. 

Geneva Hill" — Owned by F. O. Erickson; registered on February 14, 
1910; located on section 15, township 128, range 37. 

"Green Briar" — ^Owned by Erick T. Sletto; registered on February 19, 
1910; located on sections 17, 18, 19, 20, township 128, range 39. 

"Prairie Home" — Owned by J. H. Cooley ; registered on February 
26, 1910; located on sections 7, 8, township 127, range 37. 

"Spring Hill" — Owned by E. J. and Jennie Robards; registered on 
February 28, 1910: located on sections 4, 5, township 127, range },■/. 

"Hazel Grove" — Owned by J. ^^'. Lund; registered on ]\Iarch 17. 
1910: located on section 26, township 128, range 2)7- 

"Carlos Lakeview" — Owned by John P. Peterson; registered on March 
21, 1910; located on sections 16. 17, township 129, range ^J. 

"Andrewborg" — Owned by Andrew A. Anderson; registered on May 
9, 1 9 10; located on section 21, township 128, range 39. 

"The Blom Farm" — Owned by John J. Blom; registered on May 14, 
19 10; located on section 15 township 128, range 38. 

"Oakwood" — Owned by Charles Guenther; registered on May 2;i,. 1910; 
located on section 20, township 130, range 38. 

"Hampton" — Owned by Gustav Tonn ; registered on I\Iay 27, 1910; 
located on sections 11, 12, township 129, range T,y. 

"Golden Willow" — Owned by Louis Thoreson; registered on Ma\- 31, 
1910: located on section 2. township 128, range 37. 

"Fosmoe Farm" — Owned by John Fosmoe; registered on June 7. 1910; 
located on section 28, township 128, range 39. 

"Summit" — Owned by L. G. Hermanson; registered on June 22, 1910; 
located on section 12, township 129, range 39. 

"Meadow Lawn" — Owned In- Fritz Lindstrom; registered on August 
8, 19^0; located on section ^t,, township 129, range 40. 

"Brookside" — Owned by Fred Peterson; registered on August 26, 
1 9 10; located on section 13, township 129, range 39. 

"Brook Hill" — Owned by Emil Peterson; registered on August 26, 
1 9 10, located on section 18, township 129, range 38. 

"La Glade" — Owned by ^\'illiam H. Lee; registered on October 4, 
19 10; located on section 23, township 128. range 38. 

"Green Park" — Owned by Ole L. Berglund ; registered on October 29. 


1910; locdted on section 4. township 129, range 36, and section 33, town- 
ship 130, range 36. 

"Green Hill" — Owned by Charles A. Anderson; registered on October 
31, 1910; located on section 5, township 128, range 36. 

"Wood Lawn" — Owned by Samuel Preston; registered on December 
7. 1910; located on section 30, township 129, range T,y, and section 25. town- 
ship 129, range 38. 

"The Willows" — Owned by Frank Danielson; registered on Januar}- 12 
1911 ; located on section 31, township 127, range 40. 

"Botner Farm" — Owned by Ole P. Botner; registered on January 17, 
1911; located on sections 12, 13, township 128, range 39. 

"Shore Acres" — Owned by Jerry L. Blodgett; registered on January 
30. 191 1 ; located on section 31, township 129, range 37. 

"The Highlands" — Owned by H. L. Lewis: registered on February 15 
191 1 ; located on section 15, township IJ7, range 39. 

"Homewood" — Owned by John Bolin; registered on February 28 
191 1 ; located on section 2, township 128, range 37. 

"Victoria Lodge" — Owned by Josephine Helen \'an Cleve; registered 
on March 18, 191 1; located on section 21, township 128, range 2,y. 

"Interlachen Lodge" — Owned by Mary E. Finch; registered on June 
9. 191 1 ; located on section 6, township 128, range T,y. 

"Glendale" — Owned by Albert W. Allen; registered on June 24, 1911 ; 
located on section 21, township 128, range ^,7. 

"Fair Acres" — Owned by John C. Ames; registered on September 
II. 191 1 ; located on section 2, township 129, range 38. 

"La Grand Lake Park" — Owned by Peter Sweet; registered on Sep- 
tember 24. 191 1 ; located on sections 2, 3, township 128, range 38. 

"Highland" — Owned by J. P. Gran; registered on November 10. 1911 ; 
located on sections i, 12, township 127, range 40. 

"Circle Beach" — Owned by Constant A. Wesen; registered on Decem- 
ber 18. 191 1 ; located on section 24. township 127, range 39. 

"Heather Brae" — Owned by J. A. McKay; registered on December 
26, 191 1 ; located on section 17, township 128, range 37. 

"Oak Hill" — Owned by E. J. Brandt; registered on December 2~, 191 1 ; 
located on section 30, township 130, range 36. 

"Belle Plaine" — Owned by Gust Mattson; registered on December 28. 
191 1 ; located on section 29, township 129, range 36. 

"Sunny Slope" — Owned by John Nelson; registered on December 30. 
191 1 ; located on section 19. township 128, range 36. 


"Cloverland" — Owned by August Anderson; registered on December 

30, 191 1 : located un section 12, township 128, range 37. 

"Urness Homestead" — Owned by John A. Urness; registered on Decem- 
ber 30, 191 1 ; located on sections 13, 14, 24, township 128, range 40. 

"Pleasant Grove Stock Farm" — Owned by John A. Olson; registered 
on January 2, 1912; located on sections 17, 18, township 128, range 36. 

"Honeydale" — Owned by Albin Anderson; registered on March 18, 
1912; located on section i, township 129, range 36. 

"Lakewood" — Owned by Samuel Preston; registered on March 22, 
1912; located on section 11, township 128, range 38. 

"Pleasant Home" — Owned by Edward A. Olson; registered on April 
6, 1912; located on sections 24, 25, township 128, range 37. 

"Crescent Grove" — Owned by O. H. Kahlon; registered on June 12, 
1912; located on section i, township 128, range 37. 

"The Meadows" — Owned by E. O. Fritz; registered on August 30, 
1912; located on sections 28, 33, township 129, range 36. 

"North Star" — Owned bv Theodore Walstad ; registered on September 
12, 1912; located on section 4, township 130, range 40. 

"Terre Bonne" — Owned by Stephen A. Blackwell; registered on October 

31, 1912; located on section 13, township 127, range 39. 

"Peaceful Grove" — Owned by Theodore Johnson; registered on March 
8, 1913; located on sections 29, 32, township 127, range 40. 

"Oakdene Park" — Owned by W. J. B. Moses; registered on June 23, 
1913; located on section 23, township 128, range 38. 

"Plain View" — Owned by Augusta Peterson; registered on July 9, 
1913; located on section 21, township 127, range 40. 

"Ferndale Stock Farm" — Owned by Peter Rutten; registered on Novem- 
ber 15, 1913: located on sections i, 2, township 128, range 36. 

"Park Region" — Owned by Mrs. H. B. Hobart; registered on Decem- 
ber 2-/, 1913; located on sections 34. 35, township 129, range 37. 

"Meadow Lane Jersey Farm" — Owned by J. O. Rosencjuist; registered 
on February 6. 1914; located on section 10, township 130, range 36. 

"Evergreen Valley Orchard Green Lawn Roadside Farm — Owned by 
Robert Berglund; registered on February 9, 1914; located on section 3, 
township 127, range 40. 

"Orchard Grove" — Owned by A. G. Carlson; registered on February 
12, 1914; located on section 4,' township 127, range n. 

"Geneva Crest" — Owned by A. G. Carlson; registered on March 18, 
1914; located on section 22, township 128, range 37. 


"Brook Dale" — Owned by J. J. Volker; registered on May i6, 1914; 
located on section 30, township 127, range 36. 

"Golden Summit Dairy Farm" — Owned by George Workman ; regis- 
tered on June 15, 1914; located on section 31, township 127, range 36. 

"Hillcrest" — Owned by Elhe L. Hitchcox; registered on July 3, 1914; 
located on section i, township 128, range 38. 

"Brown's Dale Stock Farm"- — Owned by John N. Brown; registered 
on May 11, 1915; located on sections 7. 18, township 129. range 36. 

"Cowdry Park" — Owned by John M. Green; registered on May 19, 
1915; located on section 14, township 128, range 38. 

"Sunny Brook" — Owned by Peter Streed; registered on October 2t,. 
191 5; located on section 14, township 129, range T,y. 

"Garden Grove" — Owned by Frank O. Kullander ; registered on March 

1, 1916; located on section 21, township 127, range 40. 

"Pleasant Hill" — Owned by Matt Johnson; registered on March 10, 
1916; located on section 28, township 128, range 39. 

"Hill View" — Owned by Gust Mattson; registered on April i, 1916; 
located on section 35, township 129, range 37. 

"Maple Grove" — Owned by E. Herman Peterson ; registered on May 

2, 1916; located on section 16, township 130, range 36. 

"Alexandria Fruit and Nursery Farm" — Owned by W. H. Horton ; 
registered on June 17. 191 6; located on section 24, township 128, range 38. 

"Oak Valley" — Owned by C. Hermanson; registered on July 3, 1916; 
located on section 27, township 129, range 39. 


Travel and Transportation. 

From the days of the Umibering Red Ri^•er carts and the "prairie 
schooners," with their plodding oxen as motive power, to the wonderful 
trans-continental steel vestibuled trains that roar amid the lake-begemmed 
park region comprised within the confines of Douglas county, on their swift 
flight to and from the coast, and from the creaking wagons of the pioneers 
to the cushioned ease of the automobile "super-sixes" of the present day 
is a far crv, indeed; and yet this amazing transformation in the transporta- 
tion system of the people has been accomplished within the eas}- recollection 
of many persons now living in Douglas county. 

White men began to travel through the then wilds of this section of 
Minnesota as early as the second decade of the past century, the French 
voyageurs and, later, the hardy courciirs dcs bois, or rangers of the woods, 
blazing the ways that later became well-developed and much traveled trails 
from the rich fur-trading stations of the Red River country to the outposts 
of ci\-ilization on the Mississippi. For many years the voyageurs and semi- 
wild wood rangers, employees of the various fur companies, ranged through 
the wilds of Minnesota and traded with the Indian tribes on the Minnesota, 
the Mississippi, the Red River of the North and other streams. These 
hardy men penetrated to all parts of the land and explored it mile by mile. 
Trading posts were established at all convenient points from the headwaters 
of the Mississippi westward to the Red River of the North, from Lake 
Superior, Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods on the north to the valley 
of the Minnesota; many of these posts being carried on by private intli- 
viduals in competition with the rich fur-trading companies of the East, and 
the trails through the forests and over the prairies created by these wander- 
ing and roving traders later Ijecame the; first highways of the pioneers, the 
first permanent settlers of the land. Towards the middle of the century 
communication between the Red River valley and the outside world became 
all the more frequent. Cart routes leading to the head of navigation on 
the Mississippi began to be established by traders who. independent of 
the fur companies, began to locate at Pembina and other points, Mendota, 


near Ft. Snelling becoming one of the chief objective points of the Red 
River cart trails through Minnesota -for many years lief ore St. Paul was 
founded and became a determined rival of the equally busy port at Prairie 
du Chein. The aristocracy of the plains in those times consisted of the 
officers, traders and clerks at the posts and the buffalo hunters. While 
the Selkirk colonists generally dressed in homespun clothing and lived plainly, 
the men at the posts had every lu.xury they could procure, including a 
stock of the finest lic|uors. In fact, liquor was one of the essentials of a 
well-stocked post in that time and there was rarel}- a lack of the ardent 
spirits among the roving, reckless people of that day, it not being an infre- 
quent thing to cache barrels of whiskey at convenient points along the trail, 
presumably for the better progress of the carters and rovers of the fur 
country. It is related that Whisky Lake, just to the north of the present 
village of Brandon, in Douglas county, has its name from the circumstance 
thad it was noted in those days as the place of one of the best-known liquor 
caches of that period. 

Afterward, the military trails began to open up new lines .of travel, 
one of the most notable of these being the old military trail that was cut 
through Douglas county and on to the Red River by Colonel Abercrombie, 
who established the fort which long bore his name, in the neighborhood of 
the present city of Breckenridge, and then came the stage lines, enterprising 
individuals finding that there was enough transient travel developing to 
warrant the establishment of regular stage routes and stage stations. It 
was in the spring of 1859 that J. C. Burbank & Company, of St. Cloud and 
St. Paul, commenced running a line of stages through Douglas county, sta- 
tions along that route being established in this county at Osakis, Alexan- 
dria, Chippewa, about two miles from what is now the village of Brandon, 
and Evansville, the western terminus of the line at first being Ft. Aber- 
crombie and later St. Mncent. The road followed was the one surveyed by 
the government the year before and opened by the troops, the same now 
being the old state road, with certain modifications of route to suit later con- 
ditions. For years that road was the main thoroughfare of travel between 
St. Paul, St. Cloud and the Red River region. The stage line was con- 
tinued by Burbank & Company until about 1874, when the railroad, follow- 
ing the same general line of direction, reached Melrose, after which, as the 
distance then was only about forty miles, local stage companies and local 
freighters began gradually to take over the business and regular stages and 
freight hauls were established out of Alexandria to the railway station. In 
1874 a stage line also was established between Benson and Alexandria 


and the competing lines had the effect to reduce the price of freightage con- 

The railway was graded as far west as Alexandria in the years 1873 
and 1874, but owing to the failure of the company, the road was not com- 
pleted until in 1878, and on the 5th day of November in that year, the first 
train of the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railroad Company reached 
Alexandria, an occasion of general rejoicing throughout the entire county. 
The railway, entering the county at the south shore of Lake Osakis, accom- 
modating the village already established at that point, proceeded on in a 
northwesterly direction, continuing to follow virtually the line of the old 
stage route, through Osakis, Alexandria, La Grand, Ida Brandon, Evansville 
and Lund township and passed out at a point a little more than two miles 
south of the north edge of the latter township, the northern boundary of 
the county, along the south shore of Lake Christina, striking the old stage 
station at Evansville on its way. The station at Chippewa was passed by 
on the other side by the railway surveyors and what small commercial 
activities had been started there were moved over to the railroad and thus 
began the village of Brandon. Between Osakis and Alexandria another 
station was established and was given the name of Nelson, in honor of 
United States Senator Knute Nelson, and later about midway between Alex- 
andria and Brandon another station was established, which developed into 
the present village of Garfield. Still later the station at Melby was estab- 
lished in the upper part of Lund township, just south of the Lake Christina, 
and all have developed into prosperous trading points, the centers of the 
extensive shipping interests of their respective territories. 


The railroad above mentioned, now the main line of the Great Northern 
railroad, running from Chicago to the coast, is a part of the great system 
of railroads evolved under the directive genius of the late James J. Hill. 
At the time of the failure of the banking house of Jay Cook & Company in 
1873, and the consequent bankruptcy of the Northern Pacific Railroad, a part 
of that system formerly known as the St. Paul & Pacific was involved in 
difficulties with its bondholders and encumbered by a heavy mortgage. It 
was at that time in the hands of a receiver appointed by the court and a 
syndicate was formed, under the direction of James J. Hill, which purchased 
the whole property and reorganized it under the name of the St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis & Manitoba Railroad Company, George Stevens, of Montreal, being 


chosen president of the company and Mr. Hill, general manager. On August 
22, 1882, Mr. Hill was elected president of the company and the history 
of the magnificent railway system which he gradually built up, under the 
name of the Great Northern, is a matter of common knowledge. It was 
in 1880 that the trans-continental line crossed the Red River and its 
progress then on over the mountains and the plains to the coast was but a 
matter of sure and steady pushing along until more than half a continent 
had been crossed with its iron bands, from the shores of Lake Superior and 
the banks of the Mississippi to the Pacific. 

Douglas county again was penetrated by a railroad in 1902, the Minne- 
apolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie, or "Soo" line entering the county on 
section ^2, of Hudson township, proceeding northerly through that town- 
ship to Alexandria and thence, through Alexandria township, northeasterly 
through Carlos township and out of the county, north, on section 2, of Mil- 
tona township. Forida, in Hudson township; Carlos, in the township of that 
name, and Miltona, in the township of that name, being the stations estab- 
lished along the route, besides that at Alexandria, the new line opened up 
valuable markets to Duluth and the lake. The western line of the "Soo" 
but in 1887 crossed the extreme southwest corner of Douglas county, enter- 
ing the same in section 36 of Solem township and crossing the lower part of 
that township in a northwesterly direction, passing out in section 19 of 
the same, the village of Kensington being the only station on that line in 
the county. 

With the rapid development of the automobile as a means of rapid 
and convenient transportation, local travel throughout this part of Minne- 
sota, as well as all over the country, has been practically revolutionized. 
Since the farmers have found that an autoniol)ile is one of the best invest- 
ments that can be made on a farm, there are few well-equipped farm plants 
in the county that have not an automobile now, the farm thus being brought 
within easy distance of the market, and in consequence the growing cry for 
better roads have resulted in much more systematic attention to the con- 
struction and maintenance of highways. The many attractive lakes through- 
out the county bring thousands of tourists into Douglas county during the 
summer season and most of these come in by automobile, the license plates 
of widely remote states being noted among these touring cars, covering a 
range from Oregon to Florida and from New York to Texas. 

County road No. i, the St. Cloud and Breckenridge, or Ft. Abercrombie 
road, already referred to. was surveyed in 1858 and 1859 by Theodore H. 
Barrett and opened up in part during the year 1859. In 1869 this road 


was resurveyed as far as the village of Alexandria by the then county sur- 
veyor, Henry Blackwell. 

County Road Xo. 2, the Osakis Townsite and Ottertail Lake road, was 
surveyed by W. Adley in 1866. 

County road No. 3, the Lake George and Ottertail lake road, was sur- 
veyed in 1869 by Charles Tengwall. 

County road No. 4, the St. Paul & Pacific railroad and Ft. Ripley , 
road, was surveyed by Henry Blackwell in 1869. 



The development of the schools of Douglas county from the days of 
the little log school house in the wilderness to the present highly organized 
and effective high-school system with a course as good as that offered by 
the colleges in that earlier day is one of the wonders of modern social 
progress. So gradual has this development been, however, that those of the 
present generation of pupils are hardly sensible of the wonderful advance- 
ment that has been made along that line, accepting, as a matter of course, 
advantages in the way of schooling that hardly could have been dreamed of 
by the pioneers who cleared the way in this region a couple of generations 

There was little time lost, after the settlers began to make over the 
wilds hereabout, in getting schools established and very soon after a set- 
tlement was found to possess a sufficient number of children to warrant 
the effort, the district school came into being; districts being organized in 
accordance with the effective Minnesota system until there finally came to 
be one hundred and two school districts in the county, all of which now are 
doing effective work. In many instances at first these little district schools, 
by reason of the natural and inevitable limitations of the circumstances and 
surroundings, were but crude affairs, indeed; but they served their purpose 
in their own day and generation and the torch of learning was bravely held 
aloft in the wilderness. By the time of the early seventies, when the settle- 
ment of the county was rapidly progressing, there had come to be excel- 
lent schools in all the considerable settlements and villages, while even in the 
remoter districts there had come to be a well-organized system with respect 
to the schools, no neighborhood being without a fitting place of schooling 
for the youth of the same. The wonderful impetus given to the cause of 
education throughout this state generally by Minnesota's wonderful educa- 
tional system was felt from the very beginning throughout Douglas county 
and the gradual development of the schools of the count}-, as a result thereof, 
has been a matter of course, the high-minded men and women who took 
the lead in school matters, as well as in the general social matters of this 
communit}- in an early day, having built very wisely and very well a founda- 

^/r5f -«^<^>i<?^^ 'Ve^^e. 

HI-: . 

. A. 











tv .MISS .lAXviEi; IX iscn. 


tion upon which today rests the county's excellent school system, one of the 
most effectively organized in this part of the state. 

THE county's school SYSTEM EPITOMIZED. 

Included in the one hundred and two districts which comprise the sys- 
tem of public schools in Douglas county are two high schools, one at Alex- 
andria and one at Osakis ; two graded schools, each doing two years of 
high-school work and a course in manual training, at Evansville and Bran- 
don; nine semi-graded schools and eighty-nine rural schools, with free uni- 
form text books throughout the county, except in one district. Every school 
has a library. All rural schools except three receive state aid, and nearly 
all teachers have had special normal training. Five districts are known 
as consolidated districts and ' transport pupils living more than two miles 
from school, these districts being those at Alexandria, Osakis, Melby, Mil- 
tona and Nelson. Graduation exercises for the rural schools are held 
annually at the county seat, the class of 1916 numbering fifty- four, and 
graduates from the graded and rural schools are admitted to the high schools. 
Industrial education along the lines of agriculture, sewing and cooking, is 
successfully taught in the graded and rural schools and an annual county 
industrial contest is held in connection with the county fair, where the work 
and products of these schools are exhibited, there being large enrollments 
in the corn, potato, pig and bread contests. 

The high school at Alexandria was one of the first ten high schools 
in the state to introduce the teaching of agriculture, and the district now 
maintains a ten-acre farm for the use of the pupils in both the grade school 
and in the high school. The Alexandria high school also maintains special 
departments, for w^hich state aid is provided, such as agriculture, manual 
training, domestic science and art, commercial and normal training, and 
music also is taught. The high school at Osakis, though not numbering 
so many pupils, has the same departments and is doing excellent work, as 
are the graded and semi-graded schools in the county. The system of super- 
vision of the schools compels a high standard of competency oin the part 
of the teaching corps and Douglas county boasts of a highly trained and 
very competent force of teachers, practically all of whom hold first-grade 
certificates. With the improvement in the curriculum and in the methods 
of teaching in recent years there also has come a wonderful improvement 
in the manner of construction of school houses, all the newer school build- 
ings in the county being built along modern lines with respect to sanitation 


and for the better comfort of the pupils, every effort being made to render 
the school as attractive a spot as possible, bringing it more and more in 
hannon\- with the home and at the same time dexeloping it as a social 
center of large influence throughout the entire district. 


In connection with the ceremonies incident to the dedication of the 
present magnificent high-school building at Alexandria in the spring of 
1916, a brief sketch of the history of the Alexandria schools was read by 
R. C. Bondurant, of the Alexandria Post-News, who, as pupil, teacher, patron 
or school officer of the Alexandria schools, had enjoyed exceptional oppor- 
tunities for observation of the gradual development of the same. In opening 
his review, Mr. Bondurant pointed out that it had been a diflrcult task to 
trace the earliest history of the school district. Old records, if any, had 
been .destroyed, but, fortunately, his access to the early files of the old 
Alexandria Post and correspondence with friends of the early days had 
enabled him to prepare what is regarded locally as the most accurate history 
of the schools of the county seat of Douglas county that has ever been 

The first school in the district was taught, probably, by Miss Janvier 
in. 1861, in a little log cabin, the home of J. A. James, near where IMajor 
von Baumbach's residence now stands on the west side of Lake Agnes. It 
is claimed that Miss Olive Darling also taught in that building in 1865. 
The next school was taught in the old stockade, a small log building being 
used to accommodate the few pupils who attended. It seems that three 
women taught in the stockade, Mrs. Haynes probably having been the first. 
Miss Kate Piatt, who later became Mrs. W. H. Cowing, was the second, 
and Miss Wright, of St. Cloud, also taught there. The first school up town 
was taught in the winter of 1867-68 by Miss Anna Worthington, the 
school room having Ijeen on the second floor of the old court-house building, 
which in later years was occupied by N. P. Ward as a grocery store. Miss 
Worthington also taught during the following winter and in the winter of 
1860-70 there seem to have been two or three teachers, who met with indiffer- 
ent success, the first having been a man of the name of \Mlliams, whose 
reign was short. Just who fnllowed Williams is nut recalled. It is prob- 
able, however, that the third teacher of that winter was Miss Hannah Ben- 
nett, daughter of a Methodist preacher. During the summer of 1870 a 
short term was taught by Miss Mary Amelia Pye, in an old frame build- 


ing which stood where the middle portion of the building of the Alexandria 
Hardware and Lumber Company now stands. 

About that time a change for the better came in the affairs of the 
Alexandria school. In July or August of 1869 the first site for a school 
house was purchased. A half block of land, a part of the present school 
site, was acquired and has since remained the property of district No. 2. 
The old Alexandria Post records the fact that on Saturday, March 26, 1870, 
a school meeting was held for the purpose of electing school officers. 
Eighty votes were cast at that election and John McLeod was elected direc- 
tor : Smith Bltiomfield, clerk, and F. B. Van Hoesen, treasurer. 'Sir. Bloom- 
field was later county superintendent and Mr. Van Hoesen was for many 
years a member of the school board. 

In the spring of 1870 work on the first school building in Alexandria 
was commenced. The Alexandria Post of November 12, 1870, says of that 
building: "It is 44 by 24 feet on the ground, and about 24 feet from the 
ground to the eaves. The pitch of the roof is one-third. The frame is of 
oak. The studding, 2 by 5 ; the joists, 2 by 8. It is filled with grout to 
the top of plate of first story. The sheeting, flooring and lining are of 
basswood — the siding also, and carefully dressed. There is a porch in front, 
nine feet wide — six feet projection and eight feet posts, the roof, pitch and 
cornice correspond with the main building. There is a hall-way. or vesti- 
bule, in the lower stor}-. formed by running a partition across the building 
eight feet from the entrance. This leaves a lower room 35 by 22 feet ten 
inches, and 10 feet 6 in the clear. This room is ceiled with matched pine 
flooring three feet from the ground. It is lighted by six twelve-lighted 
windows, size of glass, 10 by 8. The vestibule is lighted by two windows of 
same description. The upper room is 43 feet by 22 feet 10 inches, of same 
height as the lower room, and is lighted by eleven windows. Of these, there 
is a central front, sixteen-lighted, with a circle head ; two front side windows, 
twelve-lighted, size of glass, 10 by 16, and four on either side of .same descrip- 

The Post of the same date says of the teacher who taught the first term 
of school in the new building: "Miss M. Frank Reynolds, a graduate of the 
Winona Normal School and a teacher of experience and ability, has been ap- 
pointed to the charge of the school during the winter term. School will com- 
mence on Monday morning next, 15th instant, at 8>4 o'clock." The follow- 
ing from the same issue of the Post should be of interest. "With such a 
buiUling to instruct in, and with a teacher who is entitled to our confidence, 
let us help the excellent cause by showing our interest in the work of educa- 


tion and by that co-operation and assistance in the households, without which 
the efforts of the best of teachers will meet with very partial success." This 
lady was the daughter of Judge Reuben Reynolds and a sister of George H. 
Reynolds, one-time attorneys of Alexandria. 

About 1872 the second floor of the new building was furnished as a 
school room and two teachers were employed. .\ Mr. \\'illis was hired as 
principal and Miss Kate McClellan taught the primary pupils. These two 
teachers remained until the school closed in the spring of 1873. From that 
time on there is a complete list of principals and superintendents, which will 
be given later. In the summer of 1876 a "twin" building to the first one was 
erected about one hundred feet to the east. That fall one room in the new 
building was used. In 1878 the second floor of the new building was finished 
and four teachers were employed, Miss Mary Gunderson (Mrs. F. B. Yan 
Housen) being the principal. About 1882 the schools became so crowded 
that one of the rooms in the old building was divided into two rooms. Also 
about that time the Norwegian Lutheran church was rented and used as a 
school room, this making the employment of six teachers necessary. In the 
summer of 1883, what is now known as the old high school building was 
erected. John Alton having the contract. Just the two floors of this latter 
Iniilding were used for school purposes, they being considered ample for 
some time. The school grew faster than the town, however, and in 1888, 
the Ward school was opened and continued for several years, during the later 
years with two teachers. After being closed for some time, that building was 
reopened in 1910 with one teacher, .\l30ut that time two routes for trans- 
pcirting pupils were established, one north and one to the west. In 191 1 the 
district came under the consolidation act, and the Ward building was closed 
and three other routes established. The Washington building had been 
thought large enough to accommodate the schools for years, but in the course 
of a short time they were again crowded and during the summer of igo8 the 
old high school building was remodeled, rooms being furnished in the attic 
and in the basement, these rooms being added to later until four floors of the 
building were crowded. 

In 1887, during the superintendency of Mr. Gaines, the school was put 
in the high-school class. When the Putnam act went into eft"ect in 1909 a 
complete industrial course was added. Sewing and manual training had been 
taught during the two years previous and in 1909 the normal and commer- 
cial courses were added. In the fall of 1914 the normal department was 
crowded out of the school building and quarters were secured in the court 
house. That fall the school board began agitation in favor of a new and 
modern high school building; bonds were voted on. February 8, 19 15, and 


tlie contract was let to the Xational Contracting Company on June 4, 1915. 
fortv-five years from the time the first school building in Alexandria was 
erected. One of the interesting features of Mr. Bondurant's sketch is a list 
of teachers who were at the head of the school from the time of its beginning 
in the little log cabin f)n the Baumbach hill. It may be that the order in 
which the first three or four teachers is given is not wholly accurate, as the 
memory of early settlers had to be depended on for the list and dates and 
these individual recollections do not all agree. 

Miss Janvier seems to have been the first, teaching in 1861. She was a 
sister-in-law of George Kinkaid, one of the townsite proprietors. Whether 
Olive Darling or Mrs. Haynes is the next in order, is a question, Miss Darl- 
ing probably having the honor. Then came Miss Piatt and Miss Wright, 
Mrs. Ha3-nes, Miss Piatt and Miss Wright having taught in the stockade. 
Then came Miss Anna Worthington and a man named Williams, and it is 
thought that Miss Hannah Bennett taught a short term, followed by Miss 
Pye. The first school building then was occupied, Miss M. Frank Reynolds 
having been the first teacher in the same. The heads of the school since that 
time have been as follow: Mr. Willis, in the fall of 1872, with Miss Kate 
McClellan as primary teacher; J. H. Dunn, in the fall of 1873, Miss Mary 
Alden as primary teacher ; A. H. Graham, who came in the fall of 1875 and 
taught during the following winter and until his death in the fall of 1876, 
A\'. H. Sanders finishing the winter term and J. H. Dunn returning to con- 
duct the spring term of 1877, after which C. A. Carson taught until Christ- 
mas, 1877, when W. H. Sanders again took charge; Miss Mary Gunderson, 
in the winter of 1878-79; C. E. Norton, beginning the term of 1879, to be 
succeeded by J. W. Chaney, who finished the same; C. J. Gunderson, term of 
1880-81; Joel N. Childs, 1881, remaining two years, during which time the 
school increased to six rooms, H. H. Kingsley and C. L. Greenough follow- 
ing, each remaining one year; A. D. Gaines, fall of 1885, remaining five years, 
a period of progress for the school; J. H. Manchester, one year, succeeded 
by J. E. Phillips, who remained diree years, after which followed John 
Cranston, C. F. W. Carlson and W. P. Dyer, under the latter of whom the 
industrial and normal departments were added: C. S. Yeager, 1910-11, fol- 
lowed by J. B. Hagen, who remained two years, at the end of which time he 
was succeeded by F. M. Yockey, the present superintendent. 


The clerks of the school districts in Douglas county for the current year 
(1916) are as follow: Xo i, J. P. Olson, Osakis; 2,. A. A. Urness, Alex- 


andria; 3, Sylvester Chase, Forada: 4, Emil Gulbranson, Farwell ; 5, J- O. 
Brandon. Kensington; 6, Henry A. Dau, Alexandria; 7. Aug. J. Alechels, 
Alexandria; A. Alfred Foslien, Garfield; 9, Fred Sweet, Alexandria; 10, 
Otto T. Olson, Xelson; 11, A. A. Rooney, Osakis; 12, Mary A. Pollard, 
Osakis; 13, Reinhold Roth, Alexandria; 14, Chas. Danek, Lowry; 15, Emil 
E. Gahlon, Xelson; 16, Albert Covel, Alexandria; 17, John A. Xorgren, 
Garfield; 18, Peter Cassell, Alexandria; 19, Frank Radii, Alexandria; 20, 
W". R. Guiles, Farwell; 21, Chas. Robertson, Osakis; 2t,, Walter C. Havens, 
Garfield; 24, T. J. Barros, Alexandria; 25, Eug. Korkowski, Brandon; 26, 
Alfred Strand Evansville; 2/. Ole J. Holm, Kensington; 28, John Kelly, 
Garfield; 29, E. O. Steen, Farwell; 30, E. H. Boerner, Alexandria; 31, C. 
W. Aleckstroth, Brandon ; ;3,2, Edward Erickson, Evansville ; ^t,. M. G. 
Dockham, Osakis; 34, Frank Buscher, Brandon; 35, T. O. Bakken, Evans- 
ville; 36, R. J. \'ickerman, Alexandria; ^,7. John Hopfner, Brandon; 38, 
.\lbert J. Flor. Ashby ; 39, Peter Beheng, Carlos ; 40, Martin Dahlberg, Xel- 
son ; 41, Thos. Collins, Osakis; 42, C. O. Colniark, Kensington; 43, Peter 
Faber, Parkers Prairie; 44, John Feiguni, Brandon; 45, John P. Edman, 
Kensington; 46, John Eggleston, Parkers Prairie; 47. S. M, Carlson, Alex- 
andria; 48, John H. Strom, Brandon; 49, X'els Christopherson, Hoffman; 
50, Joseph Schlecter, Alexandria; 51, John Sundquist. Eagle Bend; 52, N. 
D. Anderson, Evansville; 53, Geo. Freudenberg, Parkers Prairie; Ole O. 
Lea, Brandon; 55, Xels A. Johnson, Carlos; 56, J. IM. Prazak, Evansville; 
57, H. A. Pries. Evansville; 58, Edwin Johnson. Melby; 59, Chas. Miller, 
Garfield; 60, Emil Johnson, Alexandria; 61. Chas. G. Olson, Garfield; 62, 
P. L. Blank, Carlos; 63, John Johnsrud, Kensington; 64, Frank Pexsa, 
Carlos; 65, Albert Engstrand, Carlos; 66, Frans Anderson, Carlos; 67, 
Phtiebe Withers. Osakis; 68, C. J. Christopherson, Alexandria; 69, Swan 
Anders()n, Alexandria; 70, Henry Oberg, Brandon; 71, X. M. Anderson, 
Hoft'man; J2. C. A. Beckman, Evansville; 73, Roy Downing, Parkers Prai- 
rie; 74, C. A. Anderson, Alexandria; 75. Chas. Braunscheveig. Alexandria; 
76, Frank Schwartz, Evansville; yy, C. J. Lindstrom, Alexandria; -S. EWmg 
Ellingson, Hoffman ; 79, A. S. Peterson. Farwell ; 80. Emil J. Wahlstrom. 
Kensington; 81, Theo. Johnson, Kensington; 82, Henry Olson, Brandon; 
83, J. H. Kapphahn, Osakis; 84, H. J. Marthaler, Osakis; 85. \\"illiam 
Bosnian. Osakis; 86, G. E. Willett. Osakis: 87, X. H. Strand, Evansville; 
88, Henry Eggen. Garfield; 89, .\. G. Olson, Evansville: 90, L. O. Larson, 
Evansville: gi. R. L. Smith, \'illard : 92, AL Clark, Carlos; 93. A. L. 
( 'hajiman. .Mexandria; 94, John Tvrdik. .Me.xandria ; 93 J- J- Sursely, Car- 


los: 96. Frank Freske, Vining; 97, Albert Roth, Villard; 98, Peter Streed, 
Carkos; 99, F. L. Berglin, Garfield; 100, Henry Kloehn, Garfield; 102, R. 
A. Johnson, Melby; 103, Chas. F. Schelin, Nelson; 104, Aaron Edman, 


The teachers in these several districts for the term 1 916-17 were as 
follow: No. I, Superintendent E. N. Hamilton; 2. Superintendent F. INI. 
Yockey; 3, Elvira Flint; 4, Fanny Lehto; 5, Jennie Halverson; 6, Hattie 
Werline; 7, Susan Thirmesch: 8, Eunice Landa ; 9, Tessie Mcllravie; 10, 
Lydia Johnson; 11, Anna A'. Donahue; 13. Mathilda Renner; 14, Sigrid 
Johnson; 15, Alinetta Sweet; 16, Myrtle Parmeter; 17, Signe Peterson, 
principal. Ellen Sangstead ; 18, Hilda Bostrom ; 19, Meda Drussell; 20, 
Peter Xordby, Myrtle Weatherwax ; 21, Alartha Olson; 27,, Clifford Lar- 
son; 24. X(ira G. \'iker; 2^. Mary \'. Schirber; 26, Alma Moen ; 2j. Rose 
Knutsun. Minnie Stenberg; 28, Cathyrn Augustine; 29, Frankie Xelson; 
30. Minnie I. Johnson; 31, Mr. Hawley. principal, Jennie Beckman, Clara 
Xelson. Esther Erickson ; 7,2. AJinnie Johnson; t,^. Bessie Lowrv; 34, ;\Iar- 
garet E. Lawler; 35, Mary Xorem ; 36, Grace Franklin; ^y, Lillian Erick- 
son; 38, Clara Tweeten; 39, Mary Palmer; 40. Rose Xelson; 41, Emma 
Feda; 42, Grace Bondurant. principal, Lillian Johnson, Alphild Lund; 44, 
Jennie Barsness; 45, Ernest Olson, principal, Amelia Nelson; 46, .\nna 
Owen; 47, Nettie McFarlane; 48, Isabelle .\ngus; 49, Constance Erickson; 
50. .\nna G. Olson; 51, Hazel Johnson; 52. Elizabeth Swenson; 53, Cecelia 
Donahue, Christine Ekman; 54. Ehera Johnson; 55, Jacob Bixby, principal, 
Freda Dahlstrom; 56, Mamie Tamble ; 57. Herman Steubner, principal; 58, 
Alma Gradin; 59, Edith Anderson; 60; Olive Olson; 61. X'ictor Ostlund, 
principal, Mrs. Xelson; 62, Margaret Julig; 63, Louise Tax; 64, .\melia 
Feda; 65, Ellen L. Hedin ; 66, Hannah Clark; 67, Esther Lee; 68, Myrtle 
Olson; 69, Agnes Dahlstrom; 70, Mary Jacobson; 71, Petra Reckadahl; 
72, Teckla Anderson; yT,. Carrie Smith; 74. Ellen Anderson; 75, Alice 
Modahl; 76, Ruth Werner; yy, Clara Larson; 78, Alma Westerberg; 80, 
Xettie Maroney; 81, Jennie Larson; 82, Edna Sweet; 83, Mabel Brink- 
man; 85, Helen Schmid; 86. Frances Blakeslee; 87, Bertha Norem; 88, 
Helga Knutson ; 89, Olga Anderson ; 90, Clara Olson ; 92, Margaret Tav- 
lor; 93, Edna M. Anderso" • 94, Ino Cowing; 97, Mabel Palmer; 98, Myrtle 
Benn, principal, Airs. Swetland; 99. Edith Hanson; 100. Elvera 
Engstrom, principal; 102. George Hanson, principal, Cecil Rinehart ; 10:;, 
Ralph Borman, principal. 


Churches of Douglas County. 

No definite history of the earHest religious services held in the beautiful 
lake region now comprised within the boundaries of Douglas county is avail- 
able, but it is known, as a matter of tradition, that unorganized services were 
held from time to time in the groves or in the humble homes of the earliest 
settlers by itinerant preachers long before there was any definite church organ- 
• ization in the county, Congregationalist services having been held in the 
Gregory cabin as early as 1859. Though not the first church to file its articles 
of incorporation, it is pretty clearly established that th'e Congregational church 
at Alexandria was the first formal church organization in the county ; having 
been organized in December, 1867, though the claim is made that the church 
erected by the Methodists at Alexandria was the first church building erected 
in that city. That was in the fall of 1868 and the church stood just west of 
the present church building, near where the parsonage now stands, adjoining 
the church, which stands on the northwest corner of Sixth avenue and F 
street, just one square west of the business center of the citv. With char- 
acteristic liberality the Methodists permitted the use of their church build- 
ing to other denominations which soon sought to effect organizations in 
Alexandria and the old church thus was the point of beginning for several 
others of the churches of Alexandria. None of the charter members of the 
Methodist church is still living and no full records of the early days of 
Methodism thereabout are now available, such information as the present 
congregation has regarding the early days having come from the recollec- 
tions of the late John Bondurant, a pioneer of the church, a record of whose 
narratives were carefully penned by the Rev. J. M. Brown, during the time 
of the latter's pastorate at Alexandria, 1895-1900. 


Tliough tlie Methodist church at Alexandria may have been the first to 
effect a formal organization it was not the first to file its articles of incor- 
poration, that distinction being accorded the First Methodist Episcopal church 
of Osakis, the record of whose incorporation opens the record of incorpora- 



co\(;i;e(;ati().\al riirui'ii, alexaxduia. 


tions in Douglas county, the first page of Book A of the record of incorpora- 
tions for that county carrying the following : 

"We, Charles Griswold, presiding elder; F. H. Tubbs, preacher in 
charge; L. H. Webster, E. F. Chase and Marquis Bowhall, stewards, and 
Simon Coons, class leader of the congregation accustomed to attend divine ■ 
worship at Osakis in the county of Douglas and state of Minnesota cele- 
brated under the ministration and jurisdiction of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, said officers constituting the quarterly conference of said church at 
and for the said town of Osakis, do hereby certify that we, the said officers 
in said c[uarterly conference, assembled at the school house in West Union 
in the county of Todd, in said state, on the 24th day of February, A. D. 
1869, did and hereby do, in conformity to the constitution, rules and usages 
of the Methodist Episcopal church and by virtue of the authority in us 
vested by said constitution and rules, and in pursuance of Section eighty- 
eight (88) of Chapter thirty-four (34) of the General Statutes of Minne- 
sota, appoint and constitute Simon Coons, Lemuel H. Webster, William B. 
Glover, Esdore F. Chase, Harlow F. Curtis, Donald Stevenson and Michael 
H. Coons trustees of the said church and congregation at the said town of 
Osakis by the corporate name of The First Alethodist Episcopal Church of 
Osakis, by which name the said trustees and their successors shall, as a cor- 
poration, forever hereafter be called and known. In testimony whereof we 
hereunto subscribe our names and affix our seals the 24th day of February, 
A. D. 1869. Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of James Chambers, 
Elias G. Pike, King E. Bohall, Charles Griswold, presiding elder; F. H. 
Tubbs, preacher in charge ; L. H. Webster, steward ; C. F. Chase, steward ; 
M. Bohall, steward : Simon Coons, class leader, of the Methodist Episcopal 
church at Osakis, IMinnesota."" This article of incorporation was attested 
by James Chambers, notary public, and was filed for record in the office of 
the register of deeds of Douglas county on October 18, 1869, at 9 o'clock 
a. m. 

About this time began that notable influ.x of immigration of the Scan- 
dinavian peoples to this section of Minnesota and the next congregation to 
file articles of incorporation in the office of the register of deeds of Douglas 
county was the Swedish Evangelical Falun Congregation of the town of 
Osakis, which was organized at a meeting held at the house of John Johnson, 
James Alagny. president, and Leonard Forsgren, secretary, the congrega- 
tion at that meeting electing Adam Anderson, Peter Lundgren and Peter 
Hanson, trustees. This second article of incorporation was filed for record 
on April 19, 1872. 


Seventy-three distinct congregations have filed articles of incorix)ration 
in the ofiice of the register of deeds of -Douglas county. Of course not all 
of these congregations are now existent, not a few of them having dis- 
banded for one reason or another and some others having merged with other 
.congregations, giving up their own separate identity, but the larger part of 
them are still continuing and flourishing, the religious needs of the people 
of the county being provided for by no fewer than fifty- four church organ- 
izations conveniently located in the towns and rural neighborhoods through- 
out the county, and nearly all are supplied with comfortable and tasteful 
houses of worship. These societies comprise the following: Congrega- 
tional, one ; Episcopal, one ; Adventist, one ; Plymouth Brethren, one ; Meth- 
odist Episcopal, two; Free Methodist, two; Presbyterian, four; Swedish 
Baptist, two; Swedish Mission, three, and thirty-two Lutheran churches, as 
follow : Danish, one ; Finnish, one ; Norwegian Free church, one ; United 
and Synod Norwegian, ten ; Swedish, thirteen, and German, six. The Cath- 
olic churches number five and in most of these services are held in both 
English and German. A prominent and valuable feature of most of these 
societies is a well organized and well attended Sunday school, with a County 
Sunday School Association uniting them f(ir mutual benefit and support. 


Following will be given a brief summary of the organization of the 
various church congregations which make up the list of seventy-three above 
referred to. This list is made up from the record of incorporations in the 
register of deed's office and is set out in the order in which the articles of 
incorporation were filed, not in the order in which the various congregations 
were organized ; for it is noted that many of the congregations did not incor- 
porate until long after they had been well established as definite religious 
bodies, having substantial houses of jvorship and holding regular services. 
The first two congregations to file articles of incorixiration have been noted 
above. The next was that of the First Methodist Episcopal church of Park- 
ers Prairie, which was organized at a meeting held at the house of Benjamin 
Roadruck, in the township of Leaf Valley, November 13, 1872, Benjamin 
Roadruck, Albert Tull and Cyrus Smith being elected trustees of the con- 

On July I, 1872, "the male persons of full age belonging to the reli- 
gious society heretofore known as the Norwegian Evangelical church of 
Evansville and vicinity" met at the house of P. Ohlson in the town of Evans- 
ville and elected Thomas Bordson. John Davidson and P. Ohlson as trustees. 


On June 3, 1872, the congregation of the Norwegian Evangelical Luth- 
eran church of Moe, Solem, Grant and Alexandria met at the parsonage of 
the church of Moe and elected John Arneson, Charles Peterson, Ole Endre- 
son, Roar Benson, Ole E. Lien, Ole Thompson and Lorentz Johnson, trustees, 
the articles of incorporation being signed by Ole Amundsen and Andrew J. 

On May 20, 1872, the "F"irst Congregational Church and Society of 
Alexandria" was incorporated at a meeting held in the church theretofore 
occupied by said society in Alexandria by the election of William E. Hicks, 
George F. Sims and Robert C. McNeil as trustees. 

On March 25, 1872, at a meeting held at the school house at Osakis, 
professors of the Baptist faith organized a congregation of that communion 
and elected L. Fail, Rollin Sanderson, John Daesusha, Charles Gilbert and 
A. Doesing. trustees, the Rev. William M. Wells and Abram Doering attest- 
ing the minutes of the meeting. 

On June 17, 1872, the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church at 
Pelican Lake adopted a constitution and elected Jan G. Llalt, Aslak Gunder- 
son and Ole P. Bowerset, trustees, the articles of incorporation being attested 
by T. Nettleson, chairman, and Knut Melby, secretary. 

The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church of Ida was incorporated 
on November 5, 1874, by the election of Martin Nelson, Amund Bjorga and 
August Olson as trustees, the articles of incorporation being signed by Gil- 
bert Brackken and Gudbrand Anderson. 

At a meeting held at the home of x\ndrew Olson at Alexandria on 
October 6, 1875, the congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran church of 
Alexandria incorporated by electing Ole H. Nelson, David Anderson and 
Andrew Olson as trustees, the articles of incorporation being signed by 
Chr. Sangstad and David Anderson. 

On September 21, 1875, at a meeting held at the home of L. K. Aaker, 
the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church of Alexandria was incorporated 
by the election of C. M. Hanson, L. K. Aaker and John Sundblad as trustees, 
the articles of incorporation being signed by L. Johnson and Thorns Oadson. 

On February 7, 1876, at a meeting in the town of Lake Mary those in 
that vicinity holding to the profession of the United Brethren in Christ, incor- 
porated under the corporate name of the United Brethren in Christ by elect- 
ing John Robinson, Robert McClellan, George Ingersol, Eyar Langdon and 
H. Laufman, trustees. 

At a meeting held at the home of A\'illiam M. Wills at Alexandria on 


April 22", 1876, the First Regular Baptist church of Alexandria was incor- 
porated by the election of John McFarland, John O. Lindquist and William 
McAboy as trustees. 

At a meeting held at the school house in district Xo. 15 in the township 
of Osakis on March 27. 1877, "Our Lord's Scandinavian Evangelical Luth- 
eran Church of the Town of Osakis Under Authority of the Wisconsin 
Synod" was incorporated by the election of M. J. Kyed, P. T. Peterson and 
L. Solum as trustees, the articles of incorporation being attested by Jacob 
Anderson and A. I. Stadstad. 

The Christian Lake church, which had existed since the year 1871, held 
a meeting in the school house in district No. 58, Lund township, on May 10, 
1877, and incorporated by the election of Christian Nilsson, Ole Wahlin and 
Daniel Anderson as trustees, the congregation adopting a constitution in 
conformity with that used and recommended by the Swedish Augustana 
Synod, Andover, Illinois. 

At a meeting held at the house of S. A. Sandberg on ^lay 17, 1869, 
the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church of Ida was incorporated by the 
election of A. Sandstedt, C. G. Johnson and Charles Johnson as trustees. 
The meeting was presided over by the Rev. S. F. Westerdahl, chairman, and 
P. G. Anderson was secretary. 

On June 12, 1877, at a meeting held at the house of Peter E. Julin in 
the township of Moe, the congregation of the Finns church of Holmes City 
lake was incorporated by the election of Peter E. Julin, John W^atson Lehto 
and Herman Jacobson as trustees. 

On June 10, 1878, at a meeting held at the house of Frank Engstran, 
the Svenska Lutherska Augustana Synod Forsamlingen in Spruce Hill was 
incorporated by the election of Ole Johnson, Frank Egstran and Erik Nelson 
as trustees, the articles of incorporation l^eing attested by Axel Peterson and 
N. P. Hegblad. 

At a meeting held at the house of Lewis Hanson in the town of Osakis 
on February 19, 1879, the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran church of 
Osakis, which was organized on October 2, 1873, was incorporated by the 
election of Hans Jenson, Knud Smith and Peder Boeson as trustees, the 
articles of incorporation being attested by Ole Thompson and Elling Hal- 

On July 28, 1879, at a meeting held in the village of Osakis, Our Lord's 
Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran church of Osakis was incorporated 
bv the election of J. P. Simonson, Jens Lyseng and Ole Broughton as trus- 


tees, the articles of incorporation being attested by J. P. Simonson, Martin. 
Rasmuson and Ole Broughton. 

At a meeting at the home of G. Klatt on August 25, 1879, the persons 
attached to the Alexandria Mission of the Evangelical Association of North 
America incorporated the Salem church of the Evangelical Association. The 
meeting was called to order by the Rev. E. F. Movius and Fr. Kurell, Sr., 
Aug. Kruger and G. Klatt were elected trustees. 

At a meeting held in the Union church at Osakis on March 25, 1879, 
Rev. F. X. \\'alcott, chairman, and Thomas Bolles, clerk, the Union Religi- 
ous Society was incorporated by the election of Harvey Mills, Chester S. 
Boss and William H. Sevens as trustees. 

On April 23, 1878, at a meeting held in the school house on section 11, 
Solem township, the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church in Solem was 
incorporated by the election of Paul Nilson, R. Bentson and Paul Larson as 
trustees, the articles of incorporation being attested by \\\ S. Stadstad and 
Christian Olsen. 

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Evansville was 
incorporated at a meeting held on February 3, 1883, by the election of 
Anders Johnson, John Bylander, C. B. Johnson and C. J. Johnson as trustees. 

The congregation of the First Swedish Baptist church of Alexandria 
met at the American Baptist church in Alexandria on January i, 1883, and 
with the Rev. Martin Dahlquist as chairman and N. A. Peterson as clerk 
incorporated by electing John Leverson, John Falk, John Jern, N. A. Peter- 
son and Martin Dahlquist as trustees. 

The Evangelical Lutheran congregation of Evansville was incorporated 
as the Swedish Lutheran Zionsborg Congregation on May 6, 1885, by the 
election of Ole Alberts, Per Erickson and Erick T. Malmgren as trustees. 

At a meeting held on Octoljer 20, 1886, the Swedish Evangelical Church 
Svea of Alexandria was incorporated by the election of M. Lungren, N. J. 
Johnson, A. P. Erickson, Andrew Peterson and C. H. Larson as trustees. 
John E. Hedberg was chairman of the meeting and J. E. Peterson, clerk. 

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Association of Oscar Lake was 
incorporated at a meeting held on June 30, 1885, Lars Fahlin, John Matson 
and H. L. Lewis being elected trustees, the articles of incorporation being 
attested In- C. G. Johnson and C. .\. Peterson. 

The first board of trustees of the First Baptist Society of Alexandria 
was elected on May 18, 1885, A. R. Campbell, John McFarlane and N. L. 
Page being thus elected, the articles of incorporation Ijeing attested by C. B. 
Rockwell, chairman, and John A. ^McKav. clerk. 


At a meeting held on January 15, 1887. the Swedish Evangelical Luth- 
eran Church Lekvalten of Holmes City was incorporated, the chairman of 
the meeting being John E. Hedberg; clerk, S. O. Hegenius, and the trustees 
elected, John Smith, John Bergstrom, Olaf O. Sodergren and John Backelin. 

The constitution of the Ebenezer church of the Evangelical Lutheran 
Congregation of the L'naltered Augsburg Confession of Leaf \"alley. incor- 
porated, was tiled for record, January 24, 1887, the articles of incorporation 
being signed by Christian Froeming, Carl Grosenick. William Schmidt and 
August Hertig. 

A certificate of election of trustees of the First Baptist church of Alex- 
andria, signed by Rev. Thomas S. Eigelberner, chairman, and L. S. Kaiser, 
clerk, and filed for record on May 20, 1887, certified to the election of L. S. 
Kaiser, Almon Morse, John McFarlane and Robert AIcFarlane as trustees. 

The St. Petre Norsk Evangelical Lutheran Alenighed in the village of 
Brandon was incorporated on January 23, 1888, the incorporators being 
Johan O. Berg, Board Solberg, Ole Enderson, E. Engebrightson, Niels Niel- 
sen and Engebret Torkelson, with the following officers : President, Johan 
O. Berg; secretary, Ole Enderson; treasurer. Board Solberg; trustees, Ole 
Enderson, Board Solberg, Johan O. Berg, Niels Nielson, Engebret Torkel- 
son and E. Engebrigtson. 

At a meeting held in the court house hall on May 5. 1888, at which E. 
Hallgren was chairman and Ole Olson, clerk, the Swedish Baptist church of 
Alexandria was incorporated by the election of Nils Peterson, John Severt- 
son and John H. Broms as trustees. 

The Eastern Moe Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church in section 
I in the township of ^loe, at a meeting held in that church on November 8, 
1886, presided over by L. Carlson, chairman; George R. Botner, clerk; was 
incorporated by the election of Syvert J. \'ibstad, Theodore Thompson and 
Carl J. Peterson as trustees. 

At a meeting held on April 3, i88g, at the residence of P. J. Vickstrand 
on the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 30 of La Grand 
township. Nils Anderson, chairman, and Emil Johnson, clerk, the Svenska 
Kristna Forsamlingen of La Grand township was incorporated by the election 
of P. J. \'ickstrand, Nils Anderson and Emil Johnson as trustees. 

The Free Methodist church of Alexandria was incorporated on April 2"/, 
1889, at a meeting presided over by William H. Black; AL F. Childs. clerk; 
William H. Black, J. W. Glines and V. D. Nichols being elected trustees. 

At a meeting held at the church of that congregation on May 16, 1889, 
L. Johnson, chairman, and Nils Ekblad, clerk, the Swedish Evangelical 


Lutheran Fryksande church of Urness was incorporated by the election of 
Nils Ekblad, John R. Randstedt and Nils J. Lindstrom as trustees. 

The Svenska Kristna Missions Forsamlingen in the town of Id'a was 
incorporated on February 8, 1890, at a meeting held at the residence of J. E. 
Norgren on the northeast quarter of section 29 of that township, A. G. Berg- 
strom, chairman, and Erick Johnson, clerk, and A. G. Bergstrom, Emil 
Peterson and John Johnson being elected trustees. 

The First Congregational church of O&akis was incorporated on May 
20, 1890, the articles of incorporation being signed by C. N. Armstrong,' 
Frances A. Sargent and Lizzie G. Armstrong. 

At a meeting held in the school house in Evansville on August 6, 1890, 
the congregation of the Presbyterian church there, Rev. James Godward, 
chairman, and Charles L. Thomson, clerk, was incorporated by electing Will- 
iam Beach, Christ Nelson and John Kron as trustees. 

Den Svenska Kristna Forsamlingen of Spruce Hill at a meeting held 
at the residence of Mary Peterson in the northeast corner of the northeast 
quarter of the northeast quarter of section 29 on November 21, 1890, Frans 
Anderson, chairman, and Andrew Larson, clerk, was incorporated by the 
election of Andrew Larson, Alfred Lingren and Joseph Johnson, trustees. 

The First Free Methodist church of Alexandria was incorporated at a 
meeting held at the parsonage of that church on March 28, 1891, Richard 
Boothroyd, chairman, and John W. Glines, clerk, Jacob Roth, Richard 
Boothroyd, Elizabeth Covel and Elmira Glines being elected trustees. 

At a meeting held on April 2, 1891, C. Aeberle, chairman, and Carl 
Brockopp, clerk, the Evangelical Lutheran Zions Congregation of the LTn- 
altered Augsburg Confession was incorporated, the articles of incorporation 
being signed by C. Aeberle, C. Brockopp, W. Lemke, M. Haberer, J. Stoppel, 
Carl Schulke, Carl Beltz and Andrew Roth. 

The Seventh Day Adventist Church Society of Osakis, at a meeting 
held at the church of that society at Osakis on November 11, 1891, W. B. 
Hill, chairman, and Euphemia Imre, clerk, was incorporated by the election 
of W. B. Hill, Randall Perkins, Samuel Johnson and G. L. Fry as trustees. 

At a meeting held on April 4, 1892, Frank Johnson, chairman, and 
Mattis Clark, clerk, the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church of Spruce 
Hill was incorporated by the election of Frank Johnson, Peter Hanson and 
A. Osterberg as trustees. 

The Emanuels Church of the Evangelical Association of North America 
at Alexandria was incorporated at a meeting held on June 17, 1895. A- H- 


Utzinger, president, and Mrs. Rosa Zimmerman, secretary, August Engel, 
Frank Griebenow and Gustav Klatt being elected trustees. 

The German Evangelical St. Michael's church on section 8 in the town- 
ship of Carlos, was incorporated at a meeting held at that church on July 8, 
1896, Herman F. Miller, chairman, and August Leucke, secretary, Frederick 
Kitzman, August Leucke and August Blank being elected trustees. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Emmanuel Congregation of the L'naltered 
Augsburg Confession at Carlos was incoqxjrated at a meeting held on 
February 16. 1897, A. Bartz, chairman, and J. Schwerttiger, secretary. 

The Swedish Evangelical Mission church of Christina Lake was incor- 
porated at a meeting held at the residence of Olaf Larson in Lund township 
on July 6, 1897, N. D. Anderson, chairman, and M. Thornberg, secretary, 
George Larson, Frederick Olson and X. D. Anderson being elected trustees. 

The Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Emaus Congregation of Osakis 
was incorporated on July 30, 1898, J. P. Simonson, James P. Johnson, X. P. 
Jacobson, Lars Christenson, Andrew Johnson, E. H. Erickson, C. W. Lar- 
son, R. J. Simonson, C. P. Hanson, T. W. Schleppergril, Soren Hanson, 
Lars Jacobson, Karl Berry, R. P. Clauson, Peter Larson and P. J. Stenmore 
signing the articles of incorporation; J. P. Simonson, president; James P. 
Johnson, secretary-; Erick Erickson, treasurer, and C. P. Hanson. Soren 
Hanson and N. P. Jacobson, trustees. 

At a meeting held in the school house in district 30 of Carlos township, 
June 19, 1899, the Union Church Society of Carlos was incorporated, Will- 
iam A. Wheeler acting as chairman of the meeting, H. F. ]\Iiller as clerk and 
J. O. Stedje, H. F. Miller. August Blank, Parnell Atkinson. William A. 
Wheeler and Mathias Junt being elected trustees. 

The Union Church Society of Hudson was incorporated at a meeting 
held in the school house of district No. 6, Hudson township, June 26, 1899, 
G. J. Strang, chairman, and Fred C. Meade, secretary, F. M. Dille, M. D. 
Fredenberg, Herbert Boyd, S. S. Pratt and J. J. Brown being elected as 

The Catholic church of the Immaculate Conception at Osakis, in the 
diocese of St. Cloud, was incorporated on August i. 1899, the articles of 
incorporation being signed by James Trobec, bishop; Edward J. Xagl. \icar 
general; P. Ildephonse Molitor, O. S. B., pastor in charge; and \Mlliani 
Shinners and Sylvester Housen, lay members of the congregation. 

At a meeting held at the dwelling house of Andrew Knudson on sec- 
tion 21, township 127, range 39, H. Jenson, minister; Andrew Knudson, 
chairman, and Torgal Xordby, clerk, the Bethesda Society, a religious society, 


was incorporated by the election of Emer O. Steen, Ole Steen and Torgal 
Xordby as trustees. 

The Catholic church of Our Lady of Seven Dolors at Millerville was 
incorporated on November 2"^, 1899, the articles of incorporation being 
signed by James Trobec, bishop of the diocese of St. Cloud ; Edward Nagl, 
vicar general ; Alois Raster, pastor in charge, and Michael Kelly and J. C. 
Drexler, la}' members of the congregation. 

St. Mary's Catholic church of Alexandria was incorporated on February 
2J, 1900, the articles of incorporation being signed by James Trobec, bishop 
of the diocese of St. Cloud ; Edward J. Nagl, vicar general ; Otto Weisser, 
pastor in charge, and Adam J. Renner and Mathias N. Kroll, lay members of 
the congregation. 

At a meeting held in the dwelling house of John W. Johnson in the 
east half of the northwest quarter of section 't^T)^ township 128, range 39, 
the same being the township of Moe, Abraham Hogana, chairman, and John 
M. Johnson, clerk, the Suomalainen Ewankelis-Lutherilainen Kansallisseu- 
rakunta of the town of Moe was incoqx)rated by the election of Jacob Olson, 
John Gustav Hiltunen and Ed. A. Johnson as trustees. 

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church of Kensington was incor- 
porated at a meeting held on February 11, 1901, Rudolph Valkjuist, chair- 
man, and Charles Lilyquist, secretary, J. P. Hedberg. Charles Lilyquist and 
J. A. \\'edum being elected trustees. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Emanuel Congregation of the Lnaltered 
Augsburg Confession at Carlos was incorporated at a meeting held on 
March 21, 1902, Ferdinand Fiss, chairman, and Albert Schulz, secretar\-, the 
articles of incorporation being signed by Ferdinand Fiss, H. Bast, John 
P'elton, Gustav Tonn, Ferdinand Zunker, Carl Scheunemann, Herman 
Beulke, Albert H. Schulz and W'illiam Zunker. 

At a meeting held at the residence of Lars Johnson on Alarch 17, 1903, 
Olaf A. Lafgren, chairman, and E. P. Wickstrom, clerk, the Scandinavian 
Christian Free Church of Evansville was incorporated by the election of 
Sven Person,- A. P. Johnson and Lars Johnson as trustees. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Dreieninigkeits Congregation of Millerville 
township was incorporated at a meeting held on September 21, 1903, Ernst 
Meissner, chairman, and .\lbert Pries, clerk, Adolph Pries, W'ilhelm Klein 
and Karl Buse lieing elected trustees. 

At a meeting held in the hall at 518 Main street in Alexandria on 
December 19, 1905, C. .\. Strandberg, chairman, and George A. Anderson, 
clerk, the Scandinavian Free Church of God of Alexandria was incorporated 


by the election of Gottfried Kruger, C'. A. Sternljerg and Albert Kruger as 

The Catholic church of St. Nicholas of Belle River was incorporated 
on February 2, 1910, the articles of incorporation being signed by James 
Trobec, bishop of the diocese of St. Cloud; Edward Nagl, vicar general; 
Ignatius Tomazin, pastor in charge, and Charles B. Pasch and A. Joseph 
Wolters, lay members of the congregation. 

On March 19, 1906, Fred Swenson, moderator, and W. AI. Dunnicliff, 
clerk, the First Presbyterian church of Garfield was incorporated by the 
election of F. L. Robbins, John A. Nelson and W. ^^^ Dunnicliff as trustees. 

At a meeting held on May 10, 1879, at the house of Swen Waginius, 
Rev. O. Olson, chairman, and Sven Auslund, clerk, the Swedish Evangelical 
Lutheran church of Wennesborg in Douglas and Grant counties, was incor- 
porated by electing Alartin Peterson, Frick ^Viklund and Sv. Auslund as 

At a meeting held at the house of Gust M. Johnson on February 24, 
1906, Per Hanson, chairman, and Gust M. Johnson, clerk, the Swedish Bap- 
tist church of Holmes City was incorporated by the election of Per Hanson, 
Gust M. Johnson, Maret Hanson, Ellen Ekstrand and Annie Johnson as 

The Catholic church of St. Anna of Brandon was incorporated on 
February 10, 1909, the articles of incorporation being signed by James 
Trobec, bishop of the diocese of St. Cloud; Edward J. Nagl, vicar general; 
Paul Kuich, pastor in charge, and August Lehr and Jacob Table, two lay 

At a meeting held in the school house at Carlos on April 5, 1909, Scott 
Bund}-, moderator, and C. O. Franzen, clerk, the Carlos Presbyterian church 
was incorporated by the election of M. E. Smith, James B. Howe, C. O. 
Franzen and Scott Bundy as trustees. 

The Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Society of Garfield was incor- 
porated at a meeting held in the village hall on February 24, 1910, August 
Stark, Sr., chairman, and Carl Kloehn, secretary, Fred Berthel, Henry 
Wadtke and Fred Wittnebel being elected trustees. 

At a meeting held on January 19, 1910. M. B. Juul, president; Carl O. 
Augdahl, secretary, and Julius Larson, treasurer, the Brandon Evangelical 
Lutheran church was incorporated by the election of Anton Strom, O. F. 
Olson and M. Sektnan as trustees. 

The First Swedish Baptist church of Spruce Hill was incorporated at a 


meeting held in the home of O. A. Peterson on ^lay 4, 1914, Fred Pahnborg, 
chairman, and Nathaniel P. Larson, secretary, O. A. Peterson, Nathaniel P. 
Larson and G. A. Erickson being elected trustees. 

On August 18, 1914, at a meeting held at the home of .V. Eastman in 
E\-ansville, G. R. Anderson, chairman, and S. A. Swenson, secretary, the 
First Swedish Baptist church of Evansville was incorporated by the election 
of Per Johnson, Mrs. X. P. Johnson and O. Skold as trustees. 


As noted in the introduction to this chapter the house of worship of the 
First Methodist Episcopal church of Alexandria was the first church build- 
ing erected in that city and from all accounts the first to be erected in Doug- 
las county. The Minnesota Conference met at Red Wing in 1867 and at its 
business session voted to establish a church at Alexandria, and Rev. William 
Bowdish was appointed pastor. The next year the first church building was 
erected in Alexandria. It was just west of the present building, near where 
the new parsonage now stands. The second pastor appointed to that field 
was the Rev. C. F. Kingsland, under whom a revival occurred that greatly 
increased the membership of the church. He remained but a year and was 
followed by the Rev. H. G. Hilton, who remained two years and during 
whose pastorate the first parsonage was built. It still remains at the rear 
of the church in the possession of the society. In 1874 the Rev. C. B. Bre- 
count was appointed to the Alexandria charge, that having been his first 
Minnesota pastorate and under his ministrations there was a large ingather- 
ing to the church. Two years later, in 1876, the Rev. G. S. Dorsey became 
pastor, the period of his servic? long being remembered as the beginning of 
a period of trial and hardship. It was in that year that the grasshopper 
scourge swept the fields and starvation stared the people in the face. The 
pastor's health failed and he asked to lie released. The financial pressure 
became so great that on the retirement of Reverend Dorsey the church doors 
were shut and for fifteen months no regular preaching services were held. 
Even the Sunday school was finally closed. 

LInder the presiding eldership of Reverend Starkey, Rev. S. M. Bron- 
son, of Iowa, was secured and placed in charge. He reorganized the society 
and placed a new roof on the building. Dark days followed in close succes- 
sion until the entire membership were almost disheartened and some favored 
closing the church again. But there were, as usual, a few faithful ones, whi). 
like the Scotch bugle boy, never had learned to play "retreat," and who per- 


sistently pressed for victory. The Rev. C. T. Barkulo was sent as pastor in 
October. 1881. He was a faithful preacher of the Gospel and an earnest, 
hard worker, and soon the society was on upgrade again. He was followed 
b}' the Rev. S. Snyder who had a stirring re\-ival, thus strengthening the 
church very materially. He was followed bv the Rev. J. B. Ogle, a talented 
man who was much beloved by his congregation. It was about this time 
that tiie church was greatly strengthened by the accession of some prominent 
men. possessed of generous hearts and zealous endeavor for Zion. Such men 
as J. U. Barnes, William Moses, Robert McCrory. H. A. LeRoy and others, 
who of their increasing wealth and worth gave freely to the prosperity of 
the church. In the fall of 1887, Rev. Samuel White was appointed pastor 
and his ministry was made memorable by a very successful revival and a 
new building was decided upon. By the fall of 188S he had the frame of 
the new building up, when, contrary to the wishes of the people, he was 
removed to another charge. 

This proved unfortunate to the society's advance, as it was not until the 
coming of the Rev. R. C. Grose in the fall of 1889, that the old debt was 
paid off and the building properly enclosed. That building was dedicated on 
January 26. 1890. In the fall of 1891, Rev. H. Treglawney became pastor 
and was successful in eliminating all indebtedness. Ne.xt was the Rev. C. W. 
Lawson who was a careful and untiring shepherd of the flock. He was fol- 
lowed by one of the most constructive and eft'ective pastors the church has 
had. namely, the Rev. J. M. Brown, now of Grinnell, Iowa. Mr. Brown 
ga\e to the church the longest pastorate of any preacher up to that time — 
nearly five years. They were years of material improvements and spiritual 
growth. The new parsonage was constructed under his supervisi(in, being 
until recently the best ministerial home in the Fergus Falls District. 

Under the head of "Notes and Comments," there appears this interest- 
ing paragraph : "The old church building when no longer needed was sold 
to \\'. K. Barnes who started it one winter across Lake Agnes on its way to 
his farm on Lake Darling .(now occupied by N. J. Nelson and family) where 
it is now used as a barn (where it can truthfully be said, it is "cold as a 
l:arn'"). \Mien well on its way over the lake it broke through the ice as 
favoring immersion exclusively, or ])rotesting against the indignity put upon 
it. There it remained for some time, and was afterwards taken to its desti- 

The foll(jwing is a record of the pastors who have served the Methodist 
church at .Alexandria as taken from the official records : ^\'illiam M. Bow- 
dish, 1867 to 1868; C. F. Kingsland, 1868 to 1871 ; J. L. Fasig, 1871 to 


1872: H. G. Hilton, 1872 to 1874; C. B. Brecount, 1874 to 1876: George 
X. Dorsey, 1876: S. M. Bronson. 1878 to October, 1880; F. I. Fisher, 1880; 
D. S. Smith, July 1881 to October, 1881 : T. C. Barkuloo, October, 1881, to 
1882: S. Snyder, 1882 to March, 1883; J. B. Ogle, April, 1883, to September, 
1885: S. D. Kemerer, October, 1885, to 1887; Samuel White, 1887 to 1888; 
H. C. Klingel, 1888 to 1889; R. C. Grose, 1889 to 1891 ; C. H. Terglawney, 
1891 to 1892: C. \y. Lawson, 1892 to 1895: J. M. Bjown, 1895 to May, 
1900; C. \\'. Cullinge, 'Slay, 1900, to June, 1901 ; E. H. Nicholson, June, 
1901, to October, 1904; J. G. Crosier, October, 1904, to 1905; R. \\'. \Mlcox, 
1905 to 1907; George E. Tindall, 1907 to the present time. 

During the present pastorate many difficulties have been met and prob- 
lems solved. The material increase of the church has been most encourag- 
ing. The old "basement debt" of six hundred dollars at six per cent, interest 
has been paid in full, and over one thousand dollars improvements have been 
made upon the Iniildings, so that the buildings are all under good repair. 
The interior aspect of the church parlor has been greatly enhanced. Two 
beautiful memorial windows have been installed in the church to the memories 
of Robert McCrory and Mr. and Mrs. William Moses, beloved pioneers of 
the church and faithful servants of God, through whose generosity and 
untiring zeal the church was sustained in some of its years of severe trials. 
During the year 19 15 the budget ran up to over two thousand five hundred 
dollars, the largest of any year in the history of the church, except when the 
church was dedicated. 

The spiritual growth of the church has also paralleled its material in- 
crease. Revivals have been held every year and have been the means of 
increasing the membership from eighty-four at the commencement of the 
present pastorate to one hundred and seventy-three at the present, with 
twenty in the pastor's probationer's class. The superintendent of the Sun- 
day school is O. L. Solstad; president of Epworth League, Dr. D. E. Whit- 
tenberg; president of Ladies' Aid Society, Mrs. T. R. Alton; president of 
Woman's Missionary Society, Mrs. L. Madison ; stewards, O. W. Landeen, 
George Susens, W. H. Horton, A. F. Storm, C. J. Larson, H. H. Grielaenow. 
J. A. Poalson, Mrs. O. W. Landeen, Mrs. S. D. Johnson, ^^Irs. D. L. John- 
son, Mrs George Bracken, Mrs. H. N. Doyle; trustees, G. Jesse Strang, 
M. R. McArdle, Thomas Cooper, Herman H. Squires, Gus. E. Antlerson, 
Fred G. Boomgaarden, George W. Ramsdell. Franklin George, Jacob Luckert. 

The Rev. George E. Tindall, present pastor of the church, is also 
called to speak at Brandon, Hoffman and Garfield. For three years he pulj- 
li.^^hed at Alexandria the Fergus Falls District Methodist, a quarterly ]nilili- 


cation in the interests of the church of that district, and during the twentv- 
six years of his ministerial activity in Minnesota, having begun his pastoral 
work on May 20, 1890, his first charge having been the church at Ada, has 
in other ways been one of the most active ministers of the Methodist church 
in this state. Mr. Tindall is a native of Canada and left his old home near 
Bradford, Ontario, in 1890. to take up his ministerial caUing in t'his state 
and has ever since served in Minnesota, his se\eral charges having been at 
Ada, Melrose, Grove Lake, Staples, Long Prairie, Frazee, Aklev, Warren 
and Alexandria. 


Sometime in the year i860, two years after the advent of the first white 
settlers in what is now Douglas county, the Rev. C. S. Harrison, a Congre- 
gational missionary, and representative of the American Home Missionary 
Society of that denomination, then stationed at Sauk Center, held what is 
claimed by some to be the first religious service within the bounds of the 
present city of Alexandria and probably of Douglas county. This service 
was held in a bedroom of a log house owned bv P. L. Gregors". Mr. Harri- 
son probably continued to- come to Alexandria for occasional services for 
about six months. 

In the winter of 1866 and 1867 Mrs. Theresa T. Hicks and Mrs. Ann 
B. Whitcomb, being anxious that the young should have some Christian 
training, gathered a little flock together within the old stockade and formed 
a Sunday school. In the summer of 1867 the American Home Missionary 
Society again became interested through the Minnesota sui>erintendent, Rev. 
Richard Hall, and sent Rev. B. F. Haviland to work in this district. On the 
14th day of December, 1867, a meeting was held in the court house hall to 
consider the propriety of organizing a Congregational church in Alexandria. 
The church was duly organized with the following members, who brought 
letters from their respective churches. Rev. B. F. Haviland, J. R. Lowell, 
S. B. Chikls, Eliza Lowell, L. R. Chi-kls, Ann B. Whitcomb, Antoinette Darl- 
ing, L. J. Hobert, H. T. Haviland and Theresa T. Hicks — three males and 
seven females. The officers elected were Rev. B. I". Haviland, clerk; J. R. 
Lowell, deacon, and S. B. Chikls, treasurer. On April i. 1869, ]\Ir. Havi- 
land resigned his charge. The little company were still meeting in the court 
hciuse hall for services. George F. Whitcomb was elected clerk. 

In the fall of 1868 W. E. Hicks donated a lot for a church and the 
people of the village all contributed towards the erection of a new church 


building on the site of the present Methodist Episcopal church and parsonage. 
The Methodists had recently formed an organization and the new building 
was known as the Methodist church. Upon its completion the Congregation- 
alists used it alternately with the Methodists. The first mention found in the 
records of meeting in the new church was on June 26, 1869. In July, 1869, 
Rev. Reuben Evarts came to x\lexandria to care for the young church and 
continued in his work until July, 1871. Little is on record concerning the 
work during the two years except that the pastor was to receive seven hun- 
dred dollars salar), a part of which was to be paid l)y the Home Missionary 
Society. There is no record of any pastor being at work from July, 1871, 
to May, 1873, but the church was not idle, for in October, 1872, after having 
tendered a call to Rev. Mr. Williams — who did not accept — the church voted 
to raise five hundred dollars and proceed at once to build a parsonage, the 
building committee being James Purdon, George C. Whitcomb and L. G. 
Sims. The parsonage was built on lots donated by W. E. Hicks on the 
site of the present Congregational church which comprises three entire lots. 
On May i, 1873, Rev. William W. Norton became pastor of the church 
which was evidently not yet very strong, as the salary was to be seven hun- 
dred and free parsonage, the church paying but two hundred dollars of the 
amount. It was during this pastorate that the church seemed to take on new 
life and great progress was made. On May 20, 1873, a church "society" was 
organized and a corporation formed to be known as "The First Congrega- 
tional Church and Society of Alexandria," and William E. Hicks, George 
C. Sims and Robert C. McNeil were elected trustees. During the Rev. Will- 
iam W. Norton's pastorate of four years the membership increased from 
nine to thirty-three : the parsonage was enlarged and improved ; a new chiu-ch 
seating two hundred was built and furnished at a cost of about two thcu- 
sand six hundred dollars, all l)ut five hundred dollars of which was raised bv 
the church and society. At the conclusion of his pastorate in April, 1877, 
the following appears on the record : "Although the grasshoppers have 
inpoverished the country, yet the condition of the church both spiritually 
and financially is excellent and the future prospects very encouraging." 

■ Rev. P. S. Smith was acting pastor for one year from Mav i, 1877, 
and on January 4, 1878, was held the first regular annual meeting, the fol- 
lowing officers who had served since May, 1874, being elected: Clerk, W. 
E. Chidester; treasurer, Mrs. George C. Whitcomb; deacon, W. E. Chid- 
ester. Rev. Quinc}- L. Dowd was pastor from September i, 1878, to Sep- 
tember I, 1880. June 24, 1879, a constitution for the "society" and a com- 
pact of agreement between the "church" and "society" was adopted, and thus 


the regular organization of "The First Congregational Church and Society 
of Alexandria" was i^erfected after an existence of more than six years. At 
the annual meeting of the church in January, 1879, William S. Mules was 
elected clerk, Andrew Purdon, treasurer, and L. G. Sims, deacon. At the 
first annual meeting of the "society" held on May 24, 1880, George C. 
Whitcomb was elected trustee for a term of three years, thus showing that 
finally, after many years of struggle, the machinery of that part of the 
church organization was working smoothly. On the 19th day of Jnly in 
the same year an amendment to the constitution was adopted increasing 
the number of members of the 'board of trustees to five and Messrs. D. H. 
Mason and George H. S. Campbell were elected the additional members. 

On November i, 1880, Rev. W. W. Norton was recalled to the pastorate 
and continued for one year. The church had evidently been strengthened, 
for when Rev. \Mlliam Gill was called to the pastorate in December, 1881, 
the church promised to pay four hundred and fifty dollars of the seven hun- 
dred dollars salary. This pastor continued until April, 1883, when Rev. J. S. 
Jewell was called, taking charge on June i. This seemed to be a time of 
awakening, as the church assumed self-support and also increased the salary 
to one thousand dollars. This result was largely due to the wise planning of 
the previous pastor. Rev. William Gill. On account of sickness in his family 
this pastorate continued but two years. The church was supplied during 
the summer of 1885 by Rev. J. A. Stemen, who declined a call to become 
permanent pastor. Rev. S. M. Wilcox was then called to the 'work and began 
his pastorate on December i, 1885, and continued five years. Whether or 
not this was the time of the organization of the Young People's Society of 
Christian Endeavor is -not shown by the records, but in December, 1888, the 
society and the Sunday school, which had been continued since its first 
organization in 1866, both gave annual reports for the first time. At this 
same meeting the Ladies' Society gave its first annual report, although the 
report showed it was not the first year of its organization as it showed cash 
on hand at the beginning of the year of sixty-five dollars. . On January i, 
1 89 1, Rev. George W. Jackman came to the church as pastor, liut remained 
only one year. 

It is said "There is a man for every crisis" and the man was evidentlv 
found when the church called to the pastorate Rev. George E. Soper, in 
June, 1892. Although there had been a steady advance under the leadership 
of nearl\- e\ery pastor, it was during "Sir. Soper's pastorate that the present 
church 1)uilding was erected, the membership was largely increased, and the 
church came into pniminence among the churches of the state. After ha\- 


ing finished the present beautiful and commodious church edifice, the state 
association was invited to meet in Alexandria. This invitation was accepted 
and in 1895 the pastors and delegates of the churches of the state met in 
their fortieth annual meeting. From that time the Congregational church 
of Alexandria has held a high place among the churches of the state. 

The first action of which there is any record with reference to the 
erection of the present house of worship was taken by the society at itr 
annual meeting in January, 1889, when Mrs. J. H. Lebson, Mrs. F. B. Van 
Ht)esen and W. S. Moles were appointed a committee to devise wa3's and 
means for raising funds for the purpose, and at the annual meeting held in 
January, 1890, Mesrs. H. K. White, C. H. Raiter, George G. S. Campbell 
were added to this committee. At a special meeting held November 18, 
1892, it was resolved "That this church and society proceed to the erection 
of a new church building to cost twelve thousand dollars, provided that 
amount of money be first raised, and the following building committee was 
appointed : I'". B. Van Hoesen, treasurer ; George L. Treat, secretary ; A. S. 
Mason, master mechanic. At a later meeting the members of the board of 
trustees, consisting of Messrs. Samuel D. Moles, C. H. Raiter, G. B. Ward, 
J. H. Letson and George G. S. Campbell were added to this committee. The 
building was completed and dedicated with a week of services beginning on 
December 17, 1893. Its total cost, including furniture and heating plant, 
was twenty thousand five hundred and thirty-five dollars and forty-two 
cents, which was all paid before dedication. 

An important feature of Mr. Soper's pastorate was the inaugeration of 
rural missionary work at four out stations in the towns of Hudson, Lake 
Mary. Carlos, and Miltona, supported in part by members of the church and 
society. This work, started in 1896, was successfully carried on for six 
years by Rev. George F. Norton, Rev. F. P. Ferguson and Rev. Alexander 
Thorn, resulting in the organization of churches at Carlos and Hudson, and 
the erection of two church buildings, and its final abandonment was due 
largely to changed conditions on the fields. The church building in the town 
of Carlos was located about two miles west of the present Carlos village and 
was shared with the German Lutherans and Norwegian Lutherans. After 
being used for several years it was destroyed by fire and a new church was 
built by the Lutherans at Carlos village. After the location of the village 
of Forada on the new Soo Line railroad the Hudson church building was 
sold to the Presbyterians and moved about a mile and a half to its present 
location in said village where the church work started as above stated is 


being successfully carried on by the Presbyterians. A revival service, led by 
Rev. Mr. Hartsough, was conducted during this pastorate and was fruitful 
in adding a number of members to the church rolls. The work continued 
to grow during the five and one-half years of Mr. Soper's pastorate, which 
ended on December 31, 1887. 

Rev. William H. Medlar succeeded to the pastorate in May, 1898, and 
continued till December i, 1903, five and one-half years. During this pastor- 
ate the records show two distinct features of work, the first being that of 
rural missionary work, and the second the successful revival services con- 
ducted by Mr. Hunt from which thirty united with the church by confession 
of faith. The total membership was increased from one hundred and fifty- 
eight to two hundred and thirty-eight. The splendid work done among the 
young people under Mr. Medlar's leadership needs also to be mentioned. 

•Rev. William J. Paske accepted the call and became pastor of the 
church on May i, 1904. Some institutional features of work were added to 
the church ec|uipment in the summer of 1905. ' A Men's Club was organized 
which finished off a portion of the basement of the church and installed there- 
in bowling alleys at a cost of five hundred and eighty dollars, which fur- 
nished wholesome recreation for all who cared to avail themselves of the 
opportunity, boys and girls alike, as well as members of the club. During the 
year 1904 a beautiful new parsonage was erected at an expense of over five 
thousand five hundred dollars on lots directly west from the church building. 
In 1907 a magnificent organ was installed in the church at an expense of 
three thousand five hundred dollars. Mr. Paske's pastorate ended on Sep- 
tember I, 1907. 

The next pastor to take up the work was Rev. Alfred A. Secord, begin- 
ning on November 15, 1907, and ending on September i, 1913, being more 
than five years and nine months and the longest in the history of the church. 
Mr. Secord's pastorate was not marked by any great increase in the material 
equipment of the church, as in some former pastorates, but there was a strong 
steady and well balanced growth along all lines, with a marked increase of 
influence in the whole community. In 1907 the church received a legacy 
from the estate of Francis B. Van Hoesen of one thousand dollars for the 
purpose of making repairs to the church building when needed. Union 
revival services held in 1908 under the leadership of Rev. Milford H. Lyon. 
brought into the church about thirty new members. The benevolences of the 
church were largely increased and became the largest in its history. In 1911 
the General Congregational Association of the state again held its annual 
meeting with the church. 


On December i. 19 13, Rev. Frederick Osten-Sacken commenced his 
pastorate which continued to July i, 1916, the two and one-half years being 
characterized by a large increase in membership, seventy-six members being 
received and there being a net gain of fifty-seven. A Men's Sunday Club of 
over fifty members was organized which has charge of the bowling alleys 
and holds a weekly meeting at the Sunday school hour in a room which it 
provided in the basement of the church, for the discussion of religious and 
social topics. 

This history would not be complete if it failed to mention the mission- 
ary and charitable work of the church. A child of the American Home Mis- 
sionary Society, and assisted by it for the first sixteen years of its life, as 
well as by the Church Building Society in the erection of its first parsonage 
and church building, the church has always recognized its obligations to 
these societies especially, and at the same time has always contributed to 
other missionary and educational objects as well as to local charities. In 
carrying on the rural missionary enterprise before mentioned, and assisting 
in the erection of the two church buildings in the towns of Hudson and 
Carlos, an opportunity was afforded to repay to some extent its debt to the 
home mission and church building societies. These contributions amounted 
to about four hundred dollars per year for about six years for carrying on 
that work, and to nearly one thousand six hundred dollars for the church 
buildings. In 1898 the total benevolences are recorded as eight hundred and 
twelve dollars, and in 1899, one thousand nine hundred eighty-six dollars, 
including the church building subscriptions. For the last ten years the total 
annual benevolences have averaged aver nine hundred dollars. 

It is interesting to note the growth of the church in membership by 
decades. In 1877, at the end of the first decade, there were 33 members; 
in Deceniljer, 1887, there were 81; in December, 1897, 158; in December, 
1907, 158; and at the present time, September, 1916, there are 247. The 
officers who have served the church are : Deacons, J. R. Lowell, S. B. 
Childs, \\'illiam E. Chidester, L. G. Sims, George T. Robards, Fayette C. 
Meade, George L. Treat, Andrew Purdon, Samuel D. Moles, George E. 
Middleton. Charles W. Ridley, Millard Fifield, Arthur S. Mason, J. A. 
Cranston, Frank Kent, J.' Willis Knox, Hugh E. Leach and Fred C. Meade. 
Those who are conspicuous for their long service are : William E. Chidester, 
from May i, 1874, to September 19, 1898, over twenty- four years and four 
months; George L. Treat from August 2, 1883, to the present time, thirty- 
three years; Andrew Purdon, from December 28, 1893, to the present, near- 
ly thirty-three years; and Fayette C. Meade, from August 2. 1883, to Janu- 


ary 2, 1896, and from January 10, 1907, to the present time, over twenty- 
two years. The present deacons are : George L. Treat, Andrew Purdon. J. 
\\'inis Knox, Hugh E. Leach, Fred C. Meade, and Fayette C. Meade, honor- 
ary deacon. 

Deaconesses, beginning on December 31, 1896: Mrs. Mary J. Cami> 
bell, Mrs. Annie E. Roberts. Mrs. IMary E. Chapman, Mrs. Mary J. Stevens, 
Mrs. Lucy Whitcomb. Mrs. Anne Raiter, Mrs. Albert Hubbell, Mrs. F. L 
Cook, Mrs. A. G. Sexton, Mrs. Hattie Barnes, Mrs. Maud Larson, Mrs. 
H. S. Campbell, ^Irs. Lillian Boyd, Mrs. Angeline Hounsel and Mrs. J. A. 

Clerks: Rev. B. F. Haviland. George T. ^^'hitconll). William E. Chid- 
ester, AMlliam S. Moles, ^Irs. X. E. Dowd, Andrew I'urdon, Airs. A. E. 
Loring, Joel X. Childs, George L. Treat, Henry A. Barnes, Nathan M. 
Barnes. George E. ]^Iiddleton, Dr. C. L. Good, Arthur S. Mason. The pres- 
ent clerk is George L. Treat. Among those who have served as treasurer 
are : Airs. Ann B. \\ hitcomb, George C. Whitcomb, Andrew Purdon. Alex- 
ander Forbes, Eder E. Houghwont, Fayette C. Meade, J. H. \\'ettleson, 
William Walker, \Mlliam E. Xesbitt and James A. Kinney. 

The trustees who have served the "society" are: W'illiam E. Hicks, 
George C. Sims, Robert C. McNeil, George C. Whitcomb, William S. Moles, 
David H. Mason, George G. S. Campbell, George W. Robards, Gershom 
B. Ward, Samuel D. Moles, Christ H. Raiter, James H. Letson, Andrew 
Purdon, Horatio Jenkins, Francis B. \"an Hoesen, Constant Larson, Tallef 
Jacobson, Hugh E. Leach and \\'illiam J. Sheldon. George H. S. Camp- 
bell has served continuously as a member of the board of trustees since July 
19, 1880, and as secretary of the board since January 5, 1883, and C. H. 
Raiter has served as a member since 1883. The present trustees are: Hugh 
E. Leach, president; George G. S. Campbell, secretary; C. H. Raiter, J. H. 
Letson and W'illiam J. Sheldon. 

There are a number of auxiliary societies connected with the church 
which have contributed largely to its growth and work and which should 
be briefly mentioned. The first of these is the Sunday school, which was 
organized, as has been said, even before the church, and has been success- 
fully carried on ever since, largely furnished, through its training, recruits 
for the church membership. From a very small class it has grown to a 
membership of about two hundred at the i>resent time, though there have 
been some ups and downs in its history. Those who have acted as superin- 
tendent of the school since 1880 are: L. G. Sims, George L. Treat, E. E. 
Houghwont. Samuel D. Moles. Joseph H. ^^■ettleson. Prof. J. E. Phillips, 


Prof. J. A. Cranston, Mrs. Nellie Page, Mrs. O. J. Robards, J. W. Knox, 
Constant Larson, Ezra E. McCrea. 

The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor has been in exist- 
ence since 1887, and while it, too, has had its ups and downs it has done 
a valuable work among the young people in fitting them for more advanced 
church work. The combined active membership of the senior and junior 
societies in January, 1916, was one hundred and three. 

The Woman's Missionary Society, organized in February, 1885, has 
done much to advance the interest of Missions in the church. Its first report 
to the church at the annual meeting in December, 1886, showed total con- 
tributions to home and foreign missions of sixty-two dollars and these 
annual contributions have gradually increased until the present time. For 
the last few years, including" the value of missionary boxes of clothing, the 
annual offering amounts to from three hundred dollars to four hundred dol- 
lars. The society has a present membership of fifty-two. 

One of the strongest forces in the material work of the church has been 
the Ladies' Society. While a work society existed at an early period probably 
no formal organization was attempted until 1885 or 1886. From that time 
tlie society has been very active. It now has a membership of fifty-three. 
The records show that in 1893-4 the society expended in furnishings for the 
new church building $2,335 • that in 1900 it paid for the lots on which the 
parsonage now stands $1,150; that in 1903 it expended "mostly for carpet" 
for the church $634; and that in 1904 it took the lead in building the par- 
sonage and paid $2,171 of the expense. In 1905 it contributed $500 toward 
the expense of the new organ. These are some of the larger things that it 
has accomplished, btit it has also contributed largely towards the running 
expenses and the local charitable work of the church as there has been need. 

Only one of the original members survives, Mrs. Thresa T. Hicks, who 
is still a member of the church, though for many years unable by reason 
of deafness and blindness to take part in the church work. Others who 
have been members from an early period are George F. Whitcomb. 1868, 
Deacon Andrew Rudon and Mrs. LucyE. Whitcomb, 1875, and Mrs. Chris- 
tine Walker, 1877. Among those now deceased who were members for the 
longest period may be mentioned, David H. Mason, missionary of the 
American Sunday School Union for more than twenty-five years, from 
1874 to 1906, and Deacon William E. Chidester from 1873 to 1898. 

While there are many members who have taken a prominent part 
in the work of the church from an early period none are more worthy 
to be mentioned for their Christian character and zeal and for their long 


and arduous service than Mrs. Ann B. Whitcomb, one of the original band; 
Mrs. Lucy Finch, Deacon WilHam E. Chidester and Deacon Andrew Pur- 
don. In conchision it remains to be said that the leadership in providing 
the splendid equipment in church building parsonage, pipe organ, etc., was 
found in the large donations of Christ H. Raiter and F. B. Van Hoesen and 
in the splendid labors of the board of trustees, without which such equip- 
ment would not have been possible. 


One of the first churches of the Norwegian Lutheran communion in 
Douglas county is that of the Norwegian Lutheran church at Evansville, 
which was formally organized and rules and regulations adopted on Octo- 
ber 9, 1896. Previously ministers from other settlements came periodically 
to preach to the persons of that faith in the Evansville neighborhood and 
it was not until 1871 that the permanent pastor was chosen. Rev. Carlson 
was the first minister to fill the position and he remained four years. From 
the fall of 1875 to 1885, the Reverend Stadstad served the congregation 
as pastor, and from that date the Rev. T. A. Sattre has filled the position, 
for years having been recognized as one of the oldest ministers of that 
communion in continuous service in one parish in western Minnesota. The 
services of the congregation until 1880 were held in the old log school house 
on the hill and in that year the present commodious house of worship 
was erected. In 1900 the congregation provided a fine parsonage for the 

The two churches of the Norwegian Lutheran communion in Moe 
township have for many years been large factors for good in that commun- 
ity. These churches are maintained under one charge, the minister in charge 
filling both pulpits alternately. The Moe Norwegian Lutheran church on 
section 7 of Moe township was erected in 1878, the first pastor being the 
Rev. Lauritz Carlson, and the East Moe church was erected in 1882. The 
two congregations aggregate more than one hundred families and the par- 
sonage is maintained in conjunction with the first named church. 

The Norwegian Lutheran church of Alexandria was organized at a 
meeting held in the school house in tliat city on April 17, 187J, the following 
persons participating : Lars K. Aaker, John Sundblad. Ove I\I. Week, 
Lorintz Johnson, S. N. Miller, G. Dahl, O. R. Wulfsberg and Katherine 
H. Aaker, others joining a short time afterward, as follows: Mrs. Kris- 
tine \'andvke, Oluf Solum and familv, Thomas Oakson, Christian AI. Han- 

X()i;wi:(;iAX ij-riiicuAX ciukcii. kvaxsvii.M' 


son, Stean Torgerson and Theodore Bordson; in 1875 Christoffer Larson 
and Sophia Larson and in 1876, Olef King. The first church building was 
erected in 1876 and the following pastors have served: Rev. Lauritz Carl- 
sen, 1872-75; Rev. O. H. Auberg, 1877-79; Rev. A. L Stadstad, 1876, 
1880-85; Rev. T. A. Sattre, 1886-1900; Rev. B. A. Benson, 1901-15; Rev. 
Grant Mile Rundhaug, 19 16. The present membership of the congregation 
is about one hundred and twenty and a very comfortable parsonage is 
maintained adjoining the church. The pastor in charge also has charge of 
the congregation of the Scandinavian-American Lutheran church at Carlos 
and of the church of Our Savior at Nelson. 


The Norwegian Lutheran church at Evansville was organized and rules 
and regulations for the same were adopted on October 9, 1869. Previously, 
ministers from other settlements came periodically to preach to the people 
of that faith and it was not until in 1871 that a permanent pastor was 
chosen. Reverend Carlson was the first minister to fill the position and he 
remained four years. From the fall of 1875 to 1885 Reverend Stadstad 
served the congregation as pastor, and from that date Rev. T. A. Sattre, 
the present pastor, has filled the position with ability and marked success. 

Until in 1880 the services were held in the "old log school house on the 
hill," but in that year the present commodious building was erected. The fine 
parsonage near the church was built in 1900. The first trustees of the 
church were Ole Granddokken, John Davidson and John Saterlie. The 
present congregation consists of about four hundred and the church and 
parsonage are free from debt. 


The first ministers of the Swedish Lutheran Augustana church to visit 
Douglas county were Eric Norelius and Peter Carlson and that was during 
the summer of 1865. They travelled on foot and by ox-team through the 
dense woods and uninhabited prairies. The next year Rev. J. Magny came 
to the countv and organized the Oscar Lake church in Holmes City town- 
ship. He visited a number of places in the county' and prepared them for 
future religious work. 

In September, 1879. in the Svea church at Alexandria, the .Mexandria 
District was established. The district was verv large, extending to the 


Pacific Coast on the west and to the extreme north of Canada on the north, 
but in this vast territory there were then only nineteen small congrega- 
tions. The following ministers were present at that meeting: J- P. Matt- 
son, L. C. Lind, P. J. Lundblad, S. J- Kronberg and L. -Johnson. Of these 
all have passed to their reward except Reverend Kronberg. who lives on 
his farm near Melby, Minnesota. 

There are eleven churches of this denomination in the county, namely : 
Svea, at Alexandria; Ida, in Ida township, Falun, in Osakis township; 
Spruce Hill, in Spruce Hill township; Oscar Lake, in Holmes City township; 
Holmes City, at Holmes City; Wennersborg in Solem township; Immanuel, 
at Evansville ; Christine Lake, in Lund township ; Fryksende, in Urness 
township, and Zionsborg, in Evansville township. 


Svea church at Alexandria was organized and inctirporated in 1877. 
For a time the congregation used the church building, located where the 
present church stands, together with the Norwegian congregation, but pres- 
ently the Norwegians built a church of their own and each then had its 
separate house of worship. The present fine Svea church building was 
erected in 1909. There is a commodious parsonage next to the church and 
this is owned in common by Svea and Ida congregations. The ministers of 
this church have been the following: L. C. Lind, John Hedberg, A. ]\Ielin. 
A. Mattson, the last named being the present very efficient pastor. 

Ida church was organized in 1869 and incorporated in 1877. Its pres- 
ent edifice was erected in 1897. The church owns a parsonage at Alexan- 
dria in common with the Svea church. The congregation has been served 
by the above named pastors of the S^•ea church, and A. Mattson is the 
present pastor. 

Falun church was organized on ]\Iay 31, 1871, at a meeting at which 
Peter E. Hanson was chairman and E. L. Forsgren, secretary. Lars Berg- 
strom, E. L. Forsgren and John Marites Johnson were elected deacons. 
Adam Anderson, Peter Lundgren and P. E. Hanson were elected trustees. 
Later on in the same year the church was incorporated and Adam Anderson, 
Peter Lundgren and P. E. Hanson continued to be trustees. The mem- 
bership then was sixty-five. The first church building was built of logs 
and was quite a large building. It was located on the southwest quarter of 
section 8 in Osakis township. The present building was erected in 1886 and 
there is a commodious parsonage near the church. The following pastors 


have served Falun church : P. J. Lundblad, J. P. Hedberg, A. ]\[eliu. J. 
S. Ryding, and P. G. Ording, the latter of whom is the present ver\- efficient 

Spruce Hill church was organized in 1876; incorporated in 1878 and 
its present church building was constructed in 1902. For some years the 
church was served by the pastor who served the church at Parkers Prairie, 
and later by the pastor of the Falun church. 


The church work among the Swedish people of the western part of 
Douglas county has been carried on by the Christina Lake pastorate since 
1 87 1. Rev. J. Magny organized the Swedish Lutheran Christina Lake 
congregation in that year and it was incorporated in 1877. 

In the year 1874, Re^'. S. J. Kronberg was called by' the mission 
board of the Minnesota conference to take charge of the church work 
among the Swedish people of Douglas, Otter Tail and Grant counties. 
The pioneers were very religious. They felt that they could not live and 
prosper without having the church of their fathers in their midst. Lender 
the able leadership of Reverend Kronberg, the beautiful Christina Lake 
church building was erected which yet serves as the place of worship. 
This was by no means a small undertaking when the financial circumstances 
of the people at that time are considered. 

This congregation has been a prominent factor in the upbuilding of 
this community, and many men and women have been better fitted for the 
duties of life through the infiuence of this church. Northwestern College, 
which is now located at Fergus Falls, had its beginning here under the name 
of Lund .\cademy, and the school room of the church served as- the 
home of the college during the first year. Nearl}- all of the charter mem- 
bers of this congregation have been laid to rest in the peaceful cemetery 
adjoining the church, but the good work begun by them will continue through 
generations to come. 

When the Great Xorthern railway, then the St. Paul, Minneapolis & 
Manitoba road, was built through Douglas county in 1879, the \nllage of 
Evansville came into existence. The Swedish people in the village and 
surrounding country at that time belonged to the Christina Lake congrega- 
gation, but in 1883 the Swedes and Norwegians erected a small church 
in the western part of the village. In 1884 the Swedish Lutheran Imnianuel 
congregation of Evansville was organized and the Swedes became the sole 


owners of the above mentioned church building. This building was replaced 
by a modern church in 1906. Upon the resignation of Reverend Kronberg, 
who faithfully served this pastorate for thirty years, the residence of the 
pastor was changed from Christina Lake to Evansville. In 19 13 the pastor 
erected a beautiful modern house next to the church at a cost of five thou- 
sand dollars, which makes this property a valuable addition to the village. 

The Swedish Lutheran Fryksende congregation, in the township of 
L^rness, south of Evansville, was organized in 1877 and a church building 
was then erected. 

In 1884 the Swedish Lutheran Zionsborg congregation was organ- 
ized and a church was built in the southwestern corner of the township 
of Evansville. 

The abo\e mentioned four congregations constitute the Christina Lake 
pastorate which has been served by the following ministers : Rev. S. J. 
Kronberg, from 1874 to 1904; Rev. Eric Floreen, from 1905 to 1908; 
1908-1910, no residence pastor; from 1910 to 1912 by Rev. C. E. Holmer, 
and from 19 12 to the present day Rev. S. W. Swenson has been the pastor. 
In closing this brief review of the history of the Christina Lake pastorate, 
Mr. Swenson appended the following: "It would have been a pleasant duty 
for the writer to mention many faithful men and women who have been 
connected with the work in this pastorate, Ijut, as space does not permit, we 
close with the assurance that God knows them all and He will give the 
due reward." 


One of the very earliest church organizations in Douglas county was 
that of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church of Oscar Lake, which 
was organized in 1886, largely through the individual efforts of O. Fahlin. 
one of the first settlers of that community. For some time services were 
held in the homes of the settlers of that neighborhood, but after awhile 
a small church building was erected. The second and present house of 
worship was erected in 1884 at a cost of above three thousand dollars and 
was dedicated in 1886 by the Rev. J. Fremling, president of the conference. 
The pastors who have had charge there are as follows: Rev. J. IMagny, 
Rev. Aaron W'ahlin, Rev. L. Johnson, Rev. J. A. Johnson, Rev. Rudolph 
\'all(|uist and the present pastor, the Rev. E. M. Ericksson, who is also 
pastor of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran church of Holmes City, where 
he makes his home, and of the church of the same communion at Xorunga, 


over the line in Pope cmmty. The church at Hohnes City was organized 
in 1875, services being held in convenient places of meeting until a house 
of worship was erected in 1889. the building being consecrated on December 
3, 1890, by the Rev. P. Sjblom, the cost of the church having been in the 
neighborhood of three thousand dollars. A parsonage is maintained for the 
pastor at Holmes City, the cost of the same having been shared by the con- 
gregation at Oscar Lake and a.t Norunga. Among the ministers who pre- 
ceded Mr. Eriksson at Plolmes City were the Rev. O. Lindh, Rev. J. P. 
Hedberg, Rev. J. J. Johnson and Rev. Rudolph Vallcjuist. The three 
churches in this charge are well organized for effective service, the various 
departments of the work of the church being well represented by active 


At the same time that Alexandria and Douglas count}- were celebrating 
their home coming week in the summer of 1916, the Swedish Baptist church 
was celebrating its thirty-tifth anniversary. A large number of the mem- 
bers, former members and friends from far and near were present. The 
programs extended over several days and were well attended. Great interest 
in the meetings prevailed. 

The congregation was organized on July 2, 1881, at the home of John 
Broms with A. A. Linne, of the American Baptist Missionary Society, pres- 
ent. N. A. Peterson was chosen president and A. A. Linne, secretary. 
Thirteen persons joined as members on this day. They are J. Broms. Fred 
Severson, Johanes M. Broms, Ulrika S. Broms. Ida Broms, Ole E. Floding, 
Karin Floding, N. J. Anderson, Christine Anderson, Nils A. Peterson and 
Anna Peterson. The first deacons were Fritz Severson and Nils A. Pet- 

In December ]\Iartin Dahlquist was engaged as pastor which position 
he held for three years. The progress and growth of the church was marked 
from the start, so in 1885 there were forty members. At that time the 
American Baptist church on Seventh avenue was hired as the public meet- 
ing place. Following Mr. Dahlquist came Reverend Hallgren in 1877 and 
the progress of the congregation became still more marked, so in 189 1 there 
was a membership of one hundred and twenty-five. It was during this time 
that the congregation secured the present site and built their own church. 
In 1891 Reverend Hallgren went to Sweden and this left the congregation 
without a fixed pastor. But Mr. Ole Sutherlund served in the capacity 
as such until the following }-ear when Rev. A. G. Holm took charge. The 


church was completed in 1894 and in 1895 and the membership had reached 
one hundred and eighty. 

.\t that time a great change took place. A branch church was organ- 
ized from a part of the membership at Reynolds, Todd county. Also a 
large number of the members migrated to Canada and a Swedish Baptist 
church at Alidale was organized almost exclusively from members that had 
left .Alexandria. This for a time greatly reduced the local organization but 
it continued to prosper because of the self-sacrifices and energy of those 
who remained. 

In 1 90 1 the Holmes City members organized the Holmes City con- 
gregation and have later built for themselves a very beautiful church in 
the village of Holmes City. 

In 191 2 the local church was remodelled and enlarged at a consider- 
able expense. It is now one of the largest churches of the city and cen- 
trally located, so is often used for large temperance gatherings and meet- 
ings of similar nature by outsiders. 

The acti\'ities of this congregation are extensive and felt in many parts 
of the county through its Sunday schools and various Ladies" Aid organi- 
zations. One of the features of this church organization is the persistent 
and energetic temperance work. Its membership can always be counted 
upon as loyal supporters in any movement of this kind, no matter under 
what auspices such movement may be conducted. 

Rev. A. O. Lundeen, the present pastor, has brought new life and 
energy into the organization and the growth and influence of the congre- 
gations are steadily gaining ground. 


In the fall of 1874 the Rev. A. Hertwig, resident at South Effington, 
made a number of explorations into the townships of Miltona, Carlos, Belle 
River and Spruce Hill. A number of German Lutherans were found scat- 
tered through these townships and that same fall the Emmanuel's German 
Evangelical Lutheran congregation was organized. Services were held at 
the homes of the various members until a small church could be built near 
the present farm of William Zunker. The members being far scattered, 
progress was slow and some years later a number of the original members 
severed their connection and joined in building a Union church near the pres- 
ent cemetery at Carlos. The rest built the present church of the Emmanuel's 
congregation just at the outskirts of the village of Carlos. That building 


was put Up in 1898, there being fourteen members of the church at the 
time, and is still used as a house of worship by the congregation. After 
the Rev. A. , Hertwig moved from South Effington to Gaylord the Rev. 
A. Bartz, of Alexandria, had charge of the congregation until the sum- 
mer of 1910, when the Rev. J. H. Jank was called and was installed as the 
first resident pastor. He had charge of the congregation until in May, 1914, 
and in June of that same year the present pastor, the Rev. Paul F. Siegel, 
took charge. Connected with the Emmanuel congregation at Carlos there 
is a small congregation at Park Hill, over in Todd county, also under the 
charge of Mr. Siegel. Naturally, in a mixed settlement, such as that around 
Carlos, the progresss of a one-language church, and that foreign, must be 
slow. The congregation at present numbers thirty voting members, about 
eighty-five communicant members and about one hundred and seventy souls. 
There are no auxiliaries to the church, but the congregation upholds a paro- 
chial school, though in the winter of 1915-16 there were only seven in 
attendance at the same. The pastor also serves as teacher in the school. It 
is reported that a new church is badly needed, the present edifice not holding 
more than half the congregation and without doubt the next few years will 
see a new church edifice erected alongside the parsonage in town. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Zion's congregation at Alexandria had its 
origin about thirty-five years ago in a small way, when a few German 
Lutheran families who had settled in and near Alexandria formed a congre- 
gation, which has grown into the present flourishing parish. The Rev. Hert- 
wig, then stationed at Effington, over the line of Ottertail county, who was 
one of the missionaries of that faith in the Northwest, served the little con- 
gregation at converrkmt seasons and after the arrival of a few more Ger- 
man Lutheran families the congregation was formally organized, December 
2-j, 1886, with seven charter members, Andrew Roth, Matth. Haberer, Fred 
Fiebranz, Carl Beltz, Fred Kitzke, Carl Schuelke and Julius Stoppel. At 
first the small congregation held its services in private houses ; then it rented 
the Lutheran Norwegian church for its meetings. But in the year 1889 the 
little flock built a church building of its own, a small building, but the little 
congregation was delighted now to have its own spiritual home. As the 
Reverend Hertwig by this time had eleven places to serve, the congrega- 
tion at Alexandria, with four other small congregations, the ones at Villard, 
Carlos, English Grove and Oak Hill, in the next year called its own pastor, 
the Rev. A. Bartz, who is still serving. In the year 1899, the congrega- 
tion meantime having outgrown the building erected in 1888, a new and 
larger church edifice, the present church building, was erected, and great 


was the joy of the members when the Lutheran Zion's Congregation was 
permitted to enter this new house of worship. As the work for the pastor 
thenceforward increased, the parish was divided in 1902, Villard and two 
other places calHng their own pastor. A few years later another division 
took place, Carlos and Oak Hill organizing as a parish and calling their 
own pastor. By that time a new congregation had been founded at Garfield, 
which asked to form a parish with the congregation at Alexandria and this 
mutually agreeable union still exists. In 191 1 Zion's congregation celebrated 
the twenty-fifth anniversary, or silver jubilee, of its organization and in the 
next year another important step was taken by the congregation in calling 
a special teacher for its parochial school, the latter theretofore having been 
conducted by the pastor. Prof. W. Melchert, the teacher then called, is 
still serving in that capacity. In this school, besides religion, all the branches 
of the common school are taught in two languages, English and German. 
Besides this school training, there is a two-year course of special instruction 
of the upper classes in religion by the pastor, preparatory to confirmation. 
To attain this end the Ijetter, the congregation erected in 1914 a handsome 
two-room modern school building. The congregation at present has more 
than eighty voting members, three hundred communicants and five hundred 
baptized members, and the Word of God is preached in its midst in two 
languages, German and English. 


There are several active parishes of the Catholic church in Douglas 
count}', including St. Mary's at Alexandria, Immaculate Conception at 
Osakis, St. Ann's at Brandon, the Seven Dolors at Millerville, and the 
church in Belle River, the latter presided over by the Rev. Emil Steinach; 
while there are several parishes in adjoining counties, a part of whose mem- 
bership is gained from Douglas county. 

The first religious services for the Catholics of Alexandria, the county 
seat, were held in a small apartment at the residence of Charles Sondag and 
among the first priests who administered to the spiritual needs of the people 
in those pioneer days was the Re\-. Edward Guenther. In compliance with 
the rec|uest of a few Catholics in that community Bishop Seidenbusch 
granted permission for the erection of the little church, which stood until the 
present handsome church of St. Mary's was erected at Alexandria about 
fifteen vears ago. It was on July 2, 1882, that the little frame building was 
dedicated, under the patronage of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin, by 


the Rev. Father Othmar, who attended the parish from St. John's University 
at Collegeville. The Benedictine Fathers directed the congregation until 
1895, when Rev. Father Tomazin was ordered to provide for it in connec- 
tion with his pastorate in Belle River. In February, 1899, the Benedictines 
were again intrusted with the charge, and following a mission conducted 
in June of that year by the Rev. Father Augustine, of Moorhead, the 
trustees secured the appointment of a priest to administer services regularly 
every Sunday instead of once or twice a month, as was done previously, 
and the- charge was conferred upon Rev. Otto Weisser, who officiated from 
October of that year until October, 19 10, it being during his pastorate that 
the parish was incorporated under the laws of the state, as set out in a 
previous paragraph. Father Weisser was succeeded by the Rev. L. J. Haupt, 
who became the first resident priest in Alexandria and he has been suc- 
ceeded in turn by the Rev. Henry Leuthner, Rev. James Walcher, Rev. 
Leo Gans, Rev. Peter Gans, Rev. Paul Kuich, Rev. Van Dinter and the 
Rev. Francis Welp, the present pastor. St. Mary's parish maintains a com- 
modious parish residence and the various organizations of the church display 
their activities by their works. These include the Confraternity of Chris- 
tian ^Mothers, the Ladies' Sewing Circle, the Young Ladies Sodalitv and 
St. Mary Court No. 1067, Catholic Order of Foresters, the latter of which 
was organized in February, 1900. with a membership of twenty-one. 

Though the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Osakis did not 
come into being until the summer of 1899, the people of the Catholic faith 
in that vicinity had not been deprived of the comfort of divine service, 
in the earlier days the few scattered families attended service, under consid- 
erable sacrifice, at the church on the Benedictine farm about two miles north- 
west of West Union. But as Osakis grew and prospered, more Catholic 
families settled in the vicinity and the project of having a church of their 
own came to fulfillment. One of the circumstances which contributed to 
the establishment of a Catholic parish at Osakis was the fact that the Bene- 
dictine Fathers had resolved to dispose of their farming property near 
Lhiion. which was soon followed by the decision to move the St. Alexis 
church into the town of West Union, thereby making the distance still 
farther for the Catholics in and around Osakis. In the beginning of April, 
1899, the Rev. Ildephonse Molitor, pastor of the church of St. Alexius at 
West Union, called a meeting of Catholics of Osakis and vicinity for the 
purpose of organizing a congregation. At that meeting twenty-eight were 
present and the details of raising funds and providing for the erection of a 
church were entrusted to a committee. Eight lots were bought for iour 


hundred dollars in C. P. Hanson's addition to Osakis and work on the 
edifice was begun without delay. One-half of the church furniture and 
five hundred dollars in cash was gi\en the Osakis congregation when it 
separated from St. Alexius parish. At the beginning the congregation con- 
sisted of forty-five families and it was incorporated, August 11, 1899, under 
the name of The Cluirch of the Immaculate Conception, as set out in a 
previous paragraph. The original plan was to build a brick-veneered church. 
Init scarcity of funds precluded the idea of veneering it and hence it remained 
unfinished until the latter part of October, 1905. The church was dedi- 
cated on December 17, 1900, bv the Rt. Rev. James Trobec, D. D., bishop 
of the diocese of St. Cloud. The foundation and the frame work of the 
church cost about three hundred dollars and the brick veneering was added 
at a cost of eight hundred and fifty dollars. From its inception until October, 
1900, the congregation was attended to partly by Fathers from the Benedic- 
tine Abbey at Collegeville and partly from ,St. Alexius church. In October, 
1900, it was made a permanent mission of St. Alexius church of \\'est 
Union and on September 14, 1905, it became a parish having a resident priest. 
The following Benedictine Fathers have been pastors of the church of the 
Immaculate Conception or attended the same from the abbey: Rev. Ilde- 
phonse Molitor, Rev. Charles Cannon, Rev. Oswald Baran, Rev. Louis 
Traufler, Rev. Maurus Ferdinand, Rev. Ralph Knapp and Rev. Philip 
Bahner. On April 4, 1906, Rev. Philip Bahner called a meeting of the lay 
trustees to consider the feasibility of building a parish house. At that meet- 
ing it was decided to proceed at once with the erection of a parish house 
and to make a loan of one thousand dollars to cover the stipulated cost. 
In the spring and summer of 1906 the present parsonage was built. Father 
Bahner doing much of the carpenter work himself. Services were conducted 
every Sunday, as there was no mission connected with the parish. Father 
Bahner remained pastor until October, 1907, when the Benedictine Fathers 
were relieved of Osakis. The Rt. Rev. James Trobec then appointed Rev. 
Frederick Hinnenkamp, pastor, who took charge of the parish on October 12, 
1907. Father Hinnenkamp was pastor until August 4, 191 1, when he was 
transferred to the church of Our Lady of Angels at Sauk Center. During 
his pastorate substantial improvements were made in both the church and 
the house. The interior of the church was laid with steel sheeting and 
beautifully decorated. Two hot-air furnaces were installed in the basement 
of the church, these and the improvements in the house and on the premises 
being paid for in cash, the money for the same being raised by church fes- 
tivals, donations and subscriptions. Services were conducted every Sunday 

' ^ v-lHIBHIi 

'/ ./Wk 


^ e 1 1 






and Holy Day, except on the first Sunday of each month, when Father 
Hinnenkamp attended St. Ann's congregation at Brandon, which order co- 
tinues to the present time. x\fter Father Hinnenkamp had been transferred 
to Sauk Center, Rev. John Fuss was pastor of the church of the Immacu- 
late Conception for three months. Then the spiritual wants of the people 
were ministered to for some time by the Rev. William Scheiner, pastor of 
St. Alexius church at West Union. After that -the Benedictine Fathers of 
St. John's Abbey, Collegeville, conducted services at Osakis two Sundays 
a month until February 23, 1913, when the bishop appointed the Rev. 
Joseph Wessendorf, pastor. On account of ill health Father Wessendorf 
was compelled to leave the following June. z\gain the Benedictine Fathers 
were called upon for their kind assistance, until the bishop could send Rev. 
John Van der Boer, who had charge of the parish for nearly six months. 
Father Wessendorf resumed his pastorate on March 26, 1914, and has con- 
tinued the same to this day. Within the past few years the parish has 
increased considerably and at present numbers about seventy families, or 
three hundred and fifty members. Because of this increase in membership 
and on account of the general prosperity the parish was able to reduce its 
liabilities by two thousand nine hundred dollars in the past four years, leav- 
ing at present an incumbrance of only six hundred dollars on all its prop- 
erty. On December 24, 1902, the church corporation purchased two acres of 
land from Charles Anderson for a cemetery, for a consideration of two hun- 
dred dollars. The remains in the old cemetery near the Evergreen, or 
Rhinehart, cemetery, were then taken up and removed to the new site. The 
Christian Mothers Society of the Church of the Immaculate Conception was 
estabhshed on October 19, -1902, by the Rev. Maurus Ferdinand. This 
society, together with the Sewing Circle, or Ladies Aid Society, has, by 
means of festivals, suppers and energetic work, supplied the church with 
the necessary linens and vestments, has provided for the repair of cassocks 
and altar linen and the scrubbing of the church and has, moreover, provided 
the church with some beautiful statues, a marble votive stand, flowers and 
other furnishings for the sanctuary and has borne the expense of fencing in 
the cemeterv, the society Ijeinjj n living monument to what union and effort 
can accomplish 

The Church of the Seven Dolors at Millerville, of which the Rev. 

Ignatius Wippich has been the pastor since in April, 1910, is one of the 

twenty-five parishes of the diocese of St. Cloud which is in the possession 

of a parochial school, which w^s erected at a cost of something more than 



seventeen thousand dolars in 1913, after a very vigorous and effective cam- 
paign in that behalf directed by the pastor, Father \\'ippich, who wrote in 
Latin and placed in the cornerstone of the new school a document, of which 
the following is a free translation : 

"To the greater glory of God and veneration of Alary, the sorrowful 
mother of our Redeemer, the patroness of our parish, and for the safvation 
of souls from generation to generation, souls redeemed by the blood of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, and for the welfare of our country; the cornerstone for 
the proposed new parochial school at Millerville, in the county of Douglas 
and state of Minnesota, was laid and blessed by the Rt. Rev. Bernard Richter, 
domestic prelate and pastor of the St. Boniface church of Melrose, on the 
feast of the glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, on a Sunday, on the 29th 
of June, in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and thirteen, when Pius 
X, by Divine Providence, Pope, was gloriously reigning over the Catholic 
church, when James Trobec, by Divine Mercy and grace of the Holy Apos- 
tolic See, was bishop of the diocese of St. Cloud, when Ignatius W'ippich, a 
priest born in the diocese of Emland, East Prussia, was pastor of the St. 
Mary's church, under the title of the Seven Dolors, at Millerville, and Chas. 
L. Julig was treasurer, and John Bitzan, secretary of the congregation, and 
also when to the board of consultation belonged John Kelly, Frank Kor- 
kowski, Frank Ledermann, Martin Pinkowski, Edward Schirber and Peter 
Wagner; when Eugene Korkowski was president of the St. Joseph (Men's) 
Society; Ferdinand Dobmeyer, chief ranger of the Catholic Order of For- 
esters; Conrad Abel of the St. Aloysius (Young Men's) Society; Widow 
Anna Maria Kotschevar, president of the Christian Mothers' Society, and 
Barbara Kotschevar, president of the Young Ladies' Sodality, under the 
patronage of St. Rosa of Lima: when 'Woodrow Wilson was President of 
the United States of America; Adolph Eberhart, governor of the state of 
Minnesota, and Jacob Thoennes, mayor of the village of Millerville, this 
festival took place on a beautiful day and a great multitude participating. 
The builder of the school is John Abel, a youth of Millerville. The archi- 
tect, Edward J. Donahue, of St. Paul. Of the visiting priests were Revs. 
John Sand of Effington, Paul Kuich of Alexandria, Emil Stemach of Belle 
River, and the newly ordained Victor Stiegler. And to Thee, O Sorrowful 
Mother, to whose honor this statue, which decorates the parochial school, is 
today blessed, again also this parish is dedicated, that through thy interces- 
sion, the Almighty God may reward all benefactors of this school with 
eternal goods, and that our pledge may be brought before the Throne of the 


Almighty — namely, lienediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, 
honor and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen." 

The St. Mary's parochial school is situated in a healthful and pleasant 
locality, north of the church on a hill and is surrounded by a grove. It has 
a front elevation of fifty-nine feet and a side elevation of forty-one feet. 
The building is constructed of white brick on a concrete basement. In the 
basement are the boiler room, coal bunks, kitchen and dining room for the 
V'en. Sisters, play room and lavatories. The first ston,' contains two spacious 
class-rooms with all sanitary and modern equipments. The second story is 
used exclusively as a residence for the Sisters of St. Benedict. 

The Church of Our Lady of Seven Dolors at Millerville is familiar to 
all residents of Douglas county and its towering spire can be seen for miles, 
overtopping everything in the vicinity. The first church in Millerville was 
built in 1868, prior to which mass had been said at the homes of some of the 
early settlers, among whom were the Larsungs, the Weavers and John A. 
Miller, for the latter of whom Millerville was named. The old church, built 
of logs, was pulled down to give place to the present church building, which 
was erected in 1892. The first priest officiating at Miller was Father Pierce, 
in 1867, who was succeeded by Father Tomazin, who built the priest's house, 
which building, as well as the first church, has long since disappeared. Father 
Tomazin remained until 1873 and was succeeded by Father Holzer, Father 
Schneider, Father Hilbert, Father Cramer, Father Gunther. Father Ewen, 
Father Jerome. Father Brogerding, Father W'eist, Father Kicken, Father 
Alois Rastor and the present pastor. Father Wippich. On account of his 
maserly eloquence and his excellent character. Father Otto Weist was held 
in very high regard throughout that community and in October, 1901, a 
beautiful and costly monument was erected over his final resting place. 

The mission of St. Nicholas at Belle River, to which also belongs the 
Catholics of Carlos, four miles distant, was founded in 1870 by the Rev. 
Father Tomazin, a Slovenian missionary amongst the northern Indians of 
the Sioux and Chippewa tribes, a countryman of the renowned Indian mis- 
sionary. Father Pierz. Pioneer divine service was at first held in the home 
of Frank Ouinn, the father of the late James Quinn, at one time county 
commissioner and nearly always, since the organization of the parish, treas- 
urer and trustee of the St. Nicholas church; Frank Quinn, his father, and 
John Clausen, pioneers, donating each ten acres of land to Bishop Thomas 
L. Grace, for the foundation o{ a church at Belle River. The first church 
was built of logs, on the present cemetery in 1871, and was dedicated by the 
late Archbishop Thomas S. Grace, of St. Paul. On the same occasion some 


children of the parish were confirmed. In September of the same year the 
renowned Jesuit missionary, P. Havier Weninger, held the first mission 
(revival). Rev. Ignatius Tomazin attended the parish until August, 1873, 
when he was succeeded by Rev. John Schenk, the Bohemian pastor of Long 
Prairie, whose life was so siiddenly and sadly terminated in 1883, when he 
accidentally shot himself to death. The management of the St. Nicholas con- 
gregation was now conducted by the Benedictine Fathers, of Collegeville, 
Re\'. Pater Placidus, the Greek scholar, who later on for a few years became 
rector of a Greek college in Rome, Italy, and who is now a celebrated pro- 
fessor at St. John's University, Minnesota; Rev. Peter Alfred, presentlv 
pastor of the Catholic church at Moorhead, Minnesota; Rev. IMartinus, at 
present at Weire's Grover, Stearm county, Minnesota, and then for seven 
years. Rev. Pater Tldephons, who attended the parish from the Benedictine 
convent at West Union, now secularized and sold. In 1891 Rev. Ignatius 
Lager took charge of the congregation until the year 1893. ^^'^ 1883 already, 
under the leadership of Pater Placidus, the second frame church had been 
built by the contractors, Christ Raiter and Spooner, of Alexandria, and one 
year later the little parsonage, by Messrs. William Maher, John Collins and 
Anton Schneiderhan, Sr. In 1890 Rev. Ignatius Lager had an addition 
built to the parsonage, destined for a parochial school, which however, was 
used for a winter chapel. During his term of office Rev. Peter Post, a 
saintly Jesuit Father, conducted a successful mission in his parish. In 1893 
Father Lager was followed in office, again by the Rev. Father Tomazin, 
who in 191 5 celebrated his golden jubilee of the priesthood in unison with 
his Lordship, the Rt. Rev. Thomas O'Gorman, bishop of Sioux Falls, South 
Dakota, with whom he had been ordained priest on the 5th of November, 
1865, in the cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota. The Reverend Jubilarian 
(who during his second term, incorporated the parish with Joseph Woltors, 
Sr., as secretary, and Charles Pasch, as treasurer, Bishop James Trobec, at 
that time ordinary of the St. Cloud diocese, as president and Rt. Rev. Mgr. 
Edward Nagl, vicar general, as vice-president, and himself as chairman of 
the incorporation of the church of St. Nicholas), remained as pastor in 
Belle River until 1907, when he was transferred to Padua, ^Minnesota, being 
succeeded by Rev. Herman Klein. He again provided a successful mission 
through the Dominican priest. Rev. Pater Thuente, of Minneapolis, and 
made many improvements in the church and priest's house, ^^■ith the permis- 
sion of the Rt. Rev. Bishop James Troliec, Rev. H. Klein and Rev. Emil 
Joseph Steimach, of St. Mary's church, Rice, Benton cuunty, Minnesota, 
exchanged their ijarishes on the i8th of October, 190S. Under the present 


pastor, Emil Joseph Steimach, the ditiferent parish societies were organized: 
St. Nicholas Sodality for single and married men; St. Ann"s for Christian 
mothers; St. Agnes' for young ladies, and Childhood of Jesus' for the chil- 
dren. The purpose of these sodalities is the material as well as spiritual 
advancement of the parish in general and the spiritual growth and sanctifica- 
tion of the individuals in particular. In 1909 a hot air furnace system was 
installed in the church, the gallery enlarged and other improvements made 
on premises, in church and parsonage. Messrs. James Quinn and Peter 
Beheng were trustees under the present administration up to 191 3, when the 
latter resigned as secretary, being succeeded in the office by Henry Wolters. 
In June, 1905, a well-attended mission was given by the Rev. Peter Bour. On 
the 8th of August, 191 5, in the afternoon, around three o'clock, a fire broke 
out in the sacristy of the church and in less than an hour the building was 
transformed into a heap of ashes. The cause of the conflagration could not 
be ascertained, but most likely started in the charcoal box on the sacristy 
table. The following Sunday service was conducted on the new porch of the 
parsonage, people having their provisional seats in the surrounding grove. 
A mass meeting for the following Sunday was announced (for the 22d of 
August). At the latter, the following building committee was elected: E. H. 
Steimach, pastor, chairman ex-officio; August Kohlhaas, (acting) vice- 
chairman; Peter Beheng, treasurer; Henry Wolters, secretary; Albert Ritten, 
John Dunn, Anton Schneiderhan, Jr., and Thomas Ouinn. After organiza- 
tion of committee, a plan for the new church was selected, Messrs. Alban and 
Lockhart, of St. Paul, chosen as architects ; funds collected, with three thou- 
sand seven hundred dollars insurance, amounted to about twenty-two thou- 
sand dollars. On the 19th of October, the contract for the new church was 
let to the lowest liidder, William Schueller, contractor and builder, of Fergus 
Falls, who gave bonds and commenced work on the new church on the 27th 
of April, 1916. The laying of the cornerstone took place on the 30th of 
May, Decoration Day. His Lordship Rt. Rev. Joseph Busch, performed the 
ceremony, also blessed the two new bells of two thousand pounds and one 
thousand four hundred ninety pounds respectively, and preached the English 
sermon, whilst Rt. Rev. Mgr. B. Richter, of Melrose, preached in German. 
The following reverend priests were present besides the pastor : Rev. John 
Sand, Effington; Rev. Ignatius Wippich, Millerville; Rev. Francis Beitscher, 
Long Prairie; Rev. .Math. Billmayr, Brownsville; Rev. Charles Gruenwald, 
St. Cloud; Rev. Joseph Wessendorf, Osakis; Rev. Eugene Scheirer, Hold- 
ingsford. The beautiful new church of Gothic style, seating some eight hun- 


dred people, was dedicated on the 15th of October, 1916. Previous to its 
dedication the premises around the church were beautiful and the interior of 
the sanctuary was furnished appropriately with nice altars, statuary and 
furniture of quality and beauty. The parishioners, about one hundred and 
six families, irrespective of German, Bohemian. Hollandish, Belgian. Irish 
and English extraction, are good, loyal fervent Americans and showed their 
unity, their ci\ic pride and religious fervor by contributing most generously 
of money and lalDor, until their pious aspirations materialized in this beauti- 
ful temple of God, crowning their efforts and sacrifices and attesting their 
love of God and zeal of salvation. 


Emmanuel Episcopal church at Alexandria was organized earl_\- in the 
seventies, among the leading families in the organization of the same being 
the Cowings, the \'an Dykes, the Dickens, the Abercrombies, the Brophys 
and the Spragues, and on August 31, 1875, under the ministry of the Rev. 
George Stewart, the first rector, the present attractive old Gothic edifice which 
has ever since served the Episcopal congregation as a house of worship, was 
dedicated, the document attesting the fact being signed by Bishop Benjamin 
Whipple, first bishop of Minnesota, to whose memory a memorial w-indow 
has been placed in the church. Among the other memorial windows in the 
church is one to the memory of Rt. Rev. Mahol Morris Gilbert, bishop coad- 
jutor; to Mary A. Cowing, one to Efifie Viola Moore, one "presented by 
tourists," one presented by the St. Andrew's Brotherhood and one to Lucile 
Brown. The beautiful altar is a memorial to Louis J. Brown, the altar rail 
to Mary Henrietta Alleyne Mingfield, the altar chairs to Smith Bloomfield, 
the missal stand to Ellen A'enoss, the cross and altar vases to ]\Iartha S. D. 
Plank, the litany desk to Richard and Cecelia Heard, the prayer book to 
Mary Ann and John James Peacock. There is also a window presented by 
the St. Monica Guild and one presented by "friends." There have been 
fifteen rectors of Emmanuel's Episcopal church since its organization, the 
Rev. George Stewart having been followed, in turn, by the Rev. I. T. Oslx)rn, 
Rev. Thomas K. Allen, Rev. F. B. Nash, Rev. Mark Jukes, Rev. F. M. 
Bacon, Rev. Charles Rollit, Rev. James McCausland, Rev. F. E. Alleyne, 
Rev. George \V. Barnes, Rev. Glen White, Rev. H. J. Kaiser, Rev. Samuel L. 
Mitchell and the Rev. E. C. Schmeiser. the latter of whom has been in charge 
since March. 1916. 



The Church of Christ (Scientist) at Alexandria is a recent organiza- 
tion, the meniljers of which hegan to liold regular Sunday services at the 
home of Mrs. Alta-Mae Jacobson on July 12, 1914. At that time there were 
only about seven or eight persons interested in the meetings, but the home 
soon became too small to accommodate the growing congregation and on 
November 22. 19 14, the group moved into the present charters of the Chris- 
tian Science church, a small hall over the Carlson grocery store on the city's 
main street. The group grew steadily and on Alarch 21, 1916, organized an 
authorized Christian Science Society at Alexandria, complying with the rules 
of the First Church of Christ (Scientist) at Boston. There are seventeen 
charter members, four of whom are members of the Mother Church. The 
officers consist of a first reader, a second reader and a board of trustees. The 
first reader is Mrs. Alta-Mae Jacobson; second reader, ]\Irs. Caroline von 
Baumbach; trustees: President, Mrs. Margaret Unumb; treasurer, Miss 
Amelia Jasperson ; clerk, Alta-Mae Jacobson ; Mrs. Mary Robards and Will- 
iam Olson. The group has a committee for the distribution of Christian 
Science literature, which sends the Monitor, a daily newspaper of clean 
journalism; the Sentinel, a weekly magazine, and the Journal, a monthly 


The Seventh-Day Ad\entist church of Alexandria was organized on 
November 8, 1885, with twelve charter members and E. A. Curtis as elder. 
For awhile a rented building was used for a place of worship until a build- 
ing could be bought. The church building now occupied was dedicated for 
service on January 2^, 1900, the dedicatory service being conducted by 
Pastor C. W. Flaise. Following Mr. Curtis the pastors of the church have 
been : G. L. Budd, E. M. Chapman, W. W. Ruble, and E. L. Sheldon, the 
present pastor. 

Of the many young people who have grown up and been fostered by 
this church, four have become ministers of the Gospel and are holding posi- 
tions of trust in different places. A school room has been added to the 
church building and for nine months of the year a teacher is employed and 
instruction is given the children in the usual grade studies and on Bible sub- 
jects, especial efifort being made to build up Christian character. There is in 
the church a strong Missionary Volunteer Society of young people, which 
meets regularly. 


There are several church companies at different places in the county 
which hold regular services, but have not as }'et secured church buildings. 


Some years ago there was a Presbyterian church mission established at 
Alexandria under the direction of the mission board of that church, but it 
could not get a foothold and was presently abandoned. The only actrv'e 
congregations of the Presb_vterians in Douglas county are those at Forada, 
presided over by the Reverend Owen, who is building up a flourishing and 
compact organization there, and the church at Evansville, which now has 
a stated pastor, and a church at Osakis. 


It was not long after the establishment of a social order hereabout that 
the newspaper appeared and from the very beginning Douglas county has 
been favored b}' the presence of admirable mediums of publicity, the news- 
papers of the county ranking very high among the country journals of the 

The first newspaper established in Douglas county was the Alexandria 
Post, which, under its present hyphenated name of the Post-Nczvs, is still 
being published, having had an unbroken existence since September 2^, 1868, 
on which date it was launched on the then untried "sea of journalism" in 
this section of Minnesota by William E. Hicks, owner of the Alexandria 
townsite, who was a tried New York City newspaper man, and who asso- 
ciated with him in the initial stages of the venture George \\^ Benedict, a 
practical printer, of St. Cloud, who before the year was out retired and the 
paper was continued alone by Hicks until late in the fall of 1870, when 
Joseph Gilpin, a veteran of the Civil War and an experienced printer, took 
over the publication, Hicks in the meantime having been elected to the 
Legislature and his townsite and other business interests requiring all of 
his time. Mr. Gilpin had grown up "at the case'' on a newspaper in Buffalo. 
New York, and when the Civil War broke out had enlisted for service in a 
New York regiment. His health became broken and he found work at the 
printer's "case" in the cit}- did not agree with him after the completion of 
his militarv service, therefore, in July, 1867, he came to Minnesota and for 
the benefit he thought might be derived in a physical way, homesteaded a 
farm on the shores of beautiful Lake Darling, just north of Alexandria, and 
thought he would become a farmer, but the old lure of the print-shop was 
too strong and a couple of years after the PoJ^had been started, he traded 
his farm to Hicks for the newspaper property and resumed the calling with 
which he was much Ijetter acquainted than with the methods of breaking a 
frontier farm. 

Mr. Gilpin continued the publication of the Post until 1874, in which 
vear he sold the paper to A. B. Donaldson, of Minneapolis, a professor in 


the State University,- and returned to his former home in Buffalo, but pres- 
ently returned to Alexandria and on August i, 1877, started the Douglas 
County Nc-di'S, the publication of which he continued until 1894, when 
Charles Mitchell, of St. Cloud, came over and bought both the Post and the 
Xcivs and consolidated the two pajiers under the present name of the Post- 
Xczi's. Charles Mitchell, a lirnther of William Mitchell, of the St. Cloud 
Journal, continued the publication of the Post-Xc<^'s until Noveml)er 7. 1902, 
when he sold the paper to Ezra E. McCrea, of St. Paul, an experienced 
newspaper man, who has ever since been editor and publisher of the paper. 
Mr. McCrea, who formerly was deputy city clerk of St. Paul, had a ten-year 
experience in newspaper work before taking up the work at Alexandria, hav- 
ing been a reporter on both the Pioneer Press and the DispatcJi at the state 
capital and had for some time been a reporter for the Associated Press in 
New York City. 


An examination of the files of the old Alexandria Post, preserved at 
the office of the Post-N^ews would revive many memories of other days in 
the minds of old residents who might look over the same. The Post was an 
admirably printed sheet from the very start, its initial issue showing the 
work of a master hand. It was pointed out by the editor that the mechani- 
cal outfit, which had been shipped over from Chicago, was in place and ready 
for operation within two weeks after the order was placed. When the Post 
Avas established Grant and Colfax were the nominees of the Republican 
party for president and vice-president, respectiveh', and their names were 
carried at the mast-head of the paper in its very first issue. The electors on 
the Republican national ticket, whose names were published, were W. T. 
Rambush, of Freeborn county; Oscar Malmros, of Ramsey county; C. T. 
Brown, of Nicollet county, and T. C. Jones, of Anoka county. The con- 
gressional ticket was, for first district, M. S. ^\'ilkinson ; second district, 
Ignatius Donnelly; legislative ticket, for Stearns county, S. B. Pinney; out- 
side of Stearns county. William E. Hicks. Large attention was paid by the 
Post to local political conditions, a warm local fight, with particular refer- 
ence to the congressional nomination then being on. In the second issue of 
the Post there was printed the correspondence between Gen. L. T. Hubbard 
and Ignatius Donnelly regarding a plan of arbitration of the differences be- 
tween the two, arising out of the congressional nomination, the Post con- 
cluding its comment on the proposition by declaring that "should the board 


of arbitration settle the matter of differences between the candidates harmon- 
iously, which we trust they will, the choice of the board, we have no doubt, 
would Ije recognized and accepted by the entire party, and this is as it should 
be." The Republican county ticket for that year, as carried by the Post in 
its initial issue, was as follow: For auditor. William M. Pye; register of 
deeds, F. B. Van Hoesen ; sheriff, (i. W. Harper; corner, Daniel Shotwell; 
judge of probate, H. S. Boyd ; surveyor, Henry Blackwell : treasurer, T. W. 
Sprague; court commissioner, N. B. Patterson; county commissioner, second 
district, Levi E. Thompson. 

Proper attention was paid to local social doings in those days and in 
the second issue of the Post there was printed a considerable item under the 
head of "The Alexandria Ball,'-' the public being informed that "tlie ball 
given by Mr. McLeod, of the Woodhull House, on Monday night last, was 
a complete success. About thirty couples were present. Dancing began at 
nine o'clock and was continued until midnight, when supper was announced 
and all sat down to a splendid repast, served in Mrs. McLeod's inimitable 
style. Thorough justice lieing done to the substantials and delicacies of the 
supper, dancing was resumed and continued until daybreak. .Vll the partici- 
pants went home pleased and satisfied. Russell's music, McLeod's supper and 
Darling's management are all that are necessary to make a night pass pleas- 
antly. These reunions of town and country are agreeable and aid greatly 
in promoting a friendly feeling among those present. We hope these social 
gatherings may be more frecjuent." That same issue of the paper devoted 
three columns to a report of the fourteenth annual conference of the Method- 
ist Episcopal church at St. Anthony, including a list of appointments for the 
several districts of the state, it being noted that C. F. Kingsland was appointed 
to the Alexandria church and O. Hoover to the Osakis church in the St. 
Cloud district. L'nder the head of "Our Xew Church,'' it was stated that 
"In our last issue we alluded to a moA-ement towards erecting a Methodist 
church in Alexandria. As a further evidence of the energ\' and public spirit 
of the citizens in this matter, we take great pleasure in stating that the build- 
ing is already in course of construction, carpenters commencing work on 
Monday morning last. The citizens can now confidently calculate upon 
having a suitable house of worship ready for occupancy within sixty da\'s." 
In the same column it was noted that "We were delighted with the good dis- 
play of the vocal powers of the ladies of Alexandria at the morning church 
service last Sunday. There is abundant material in our congregation for 
good singing and we hope to see an organ placed in the church to accompany 
our lady singers." This item is supposed to have had reference to the con- 


gregation of the Congregational church, which at that time was holding serv- 
ices in the old court house hall and to which Mr. Hicks later donated the 
fine corner lot on which the present Congregational church stands. Under 
the head of "Personal"' it was noted in the second issue of the Post that "Air.- 
G. W. Benedict, one of the proprietors of the Alexandria Post, went below 
on Sunday last, after assisting in the publication of the first number of our 
paper, which in point of mechanical appearance, we are not afraid to com- 
pare with any newspaper that has been started on the frontier of late years. "" 
The grain market quotations then were as follow : "Wheat is lower, selling 
at $1.05 for Xo. I. All the markets below are lower. Oats are C|uoted at 50 
to 53 cents. Wheat at Center, $1 to $1.50." 

The business interests of Alexandria seemed well represented even at 
that early date and the Post carried the following advertisers in its columns : 
F. B. Van Hoesen, attorney at law; Scandinavian House, L. Johnson, pro- 
prietor: H. L. Gordon and L. W. Collins, Gordon & Collins, attorneys at law 
and real estate agents; Gates & Blood, general freighters, running "regularlv 
once a week between St. Cloud and Alexandria, rates from $1.50 to $2 per 
100 pounds;" Van Hoesen & Mitchell. F. B. \'an Hoesen and James S. 
Mitchell, real estate agency; John S. Mower, attorney at law and insurance; 
AI. H. Tolan, bootmaker and repairer ; George C. Whitcomb, countv auditor 
and register of deeds, "any business required to be done by non-resident land 
holders executed promptly and no exorbitant charges;" Dr. O. E. Andrews, 
physician and surgeon ; Thomas Cowing, general merchandise ; \\'oodhulI 
House. John ]iIcLeod, proprietor; Hammond, Rima & Co., shingle manu- 
facturers; \\'. E. Hieks, lumber yard; C. Shultz, gunsmith and dealer in 
sportsmen's and hunter's goods ; G. C. Marshall, saloon ; E. G. Holmes, gen- 
eral merchandise and farm implements. Holmes City ; John Sundblad. board- 
ing house and saloon; C. Sonday, merchant tailor; J. F. Bell & Company, 
St. Cloud, dry goods ; Alexandria Flouring Mills, "the highest price paid for 
wheat;" Joseph Gilpin, builder and plasterer; D. Fredenberg, carriage and 
wagon factory ; Smith & Herbert, boots, shoes and leather ; St. Germaine. St. 
Cloud ; D. B. Hull, house, sign and carriage painting, glazier and paper- 
hanger; Andrew Lundberg, carpenter and jointer; Robert Walker, black- 
smitliing and horse-shoeing; S. J. Holmberg. wagonmaker; J. H. Holla- 
Ijaugh, liardware; T. F. Cowing, Alexandria Store, drx goods and general 
merchandise; J. B. Cowing, groceries and meat market; Pomme de Terre 
Station Hotel, D. Burns, proprietor; Mueller Brothers, dry goods and general 



In the summer of 1893, ^^^- S. Gilpin, son of the veteran ethtr.r, Joseph 
Gilpin, and Newton Trenham started a newspaper at Alexandria which they 
called the Citizen and which the_\- began publishing largely in behalf of the 
Grange movement. Presently Gilpin sold his interest in the paper to Tren- 
ham and moved to Hamilton, North Dakota, where he started a paper which 
he conducted for three or four years, at the end of which time he went to 
Osseo, Wisconsin, and started there the Ossco .Yczi's. which he is still pub- 
lishing. Trenham later sold the Citizen to J- A. Kinney, whiT is still con- 
ducting the same. 


Twent)--six years ago a man by the name of Clark arri\ed at Brandon 
and proceeded to establish a newspaper for that thriving village. He was 
an e.x-county attorney of Itasca county and considerable was expected of 
his venture by the people of that community. The paper he started he 
named Blue Bells. But he proved to be an eccentric sort and the publica- 
tion was rather erratic. Frecjuently, weekly editions would be omitted. He 
continued about a year and sold out to Hans Peterson and Fred Andrews, 
two of Brajidon's promising and energetic young men. They edited the 
paper for some time, when it proved the income was not sufficient to keep 
the venture going. 

But the people of Brandon acquired a taste of ha\ing a local news- 
paper and were not willing to let matters drop so readily. At E\ansville, 
A. C. Lawrence was located and they made an arrangement with him to 
take over the property. They assisted him to the extent of fetching his 
household goods and family to Brandon and he began reviving the Brandon 
Echo. He gave the Aillage a live and interesting newspaper, but he also 
encountered the same ditficulty — small income — too small to maintain a 
family of three large people. It was claimed that tlie three together would 
ti]) the scales at more than 700 pounds and that they ate regularh" three 
pijunds of the liest roast lieef each dinner. The Echo was then sold to 
George S. Myron, who mo\-ed the plant into his house, the one now occu- 
pied by Anton H. Str(im. Up to that time the plant had been located in 
the Decker building, yet standing south of the Larson hardware store. 'Slv. 
Lawrence went to Alexandria and there started a new paper which lasted 
only a short while, though. 

Mr. Borgen was a good printer and put new life into the Echo. It 


appeared to prosper and gain prestige. He was appointed postmaster and 
this gave him additional income and prestige, and he materially improved 
the publication. Large fonts of type were added and the old army press 
was disposed of and the Minnesota stop-cylinder press, on which the Alex- 
andria Post Xczcs had been published for several years was installed. The 
paper was changed from a four-page seven-column to an eight-page five- 
column. The business men ot the \-illage patronized him liberally and did 
what they could to assist in giving the community a li\e little local paper. 
But re\erses set in and in time the ownership passed into the hands of the 
Brandon State Bank. Again the business men took a hold to retain the 
paper .and keep it alive. Carl A. ^^'old. the present editor, agreed to edit 
it for the bank until some other arrangement could be made. But this 
appeared to Ije a difficult matter and a proposition was made to Wold, which 
he accepted and became the owner of the plant. 

Up to this time the temperance question had not received much atten- 
tion in the local papers. In fact the saloons had been the most prominent 
feature in the business and political life of a community. But a change 
was dexeloping. Their work was "growing distasteful and protests began 
to come frequently. The system was gradually changing from the local 
saloonkeeper wlio lived in the place and invested his income in the village, 
educated his children there and took a live interest in the development of 
the towns, as is customary of business men, to men who acted as mere 
agents for some brewery outside of the village and whose only interest in 
the place was the amount of profits turned in. This system produced a 
class of saloon keepers that sometimes did not act wisely or very scrupu- 
lously. They gener^ited a general protest from the better class of residents 
and the temperance movement was on. 

Mr. \\'old upon assuming the management of the Echo at once dis- 
continued the liquor advertising. This was resented by the saloon keepers 
and at once a fight was on. \\'old tried to avoid this and for a long time 
ignored the attacks and advocated prohiljition and no-license. From this 
condition developed an organization in the count)- that has done much to 
create sentiment for no saloons and a dry county. 

After three years work in Brandon, temperance advocates of the county 
started a movement to reorganize the paper and mo\e the plant to Alexandria, 
where the Eclio would l>e in a position to assume the work for the whole 
county. From a small circulation it has developed a large circulation and 
has the liberal support of the people. 

The plant of the Park Region Echo is now equipped with a good 


cylinder press, jobber, linotype and other necessary machinery for news- 
paper and job work. 


.\ newspaper formerly puljhshed at Alexandria was the Rcl^ublican, 
which was established more than twent}- }'ears ago by U. B. Shaver, who con- 
tinned its publication a few years, at the end of which time he sold it to 
A. C. Lawrence, who continued the publication of the same until growing 
financial difficulties caused him to seek a change of base and he moved the 
plant to Fergus Falls. 


The Osakis Rcviciv was established in 1890 by A. L. Heikes and was 
a four-page seven-colimin paper. It was printed on one of the first Wash- 
ington hand-presses ever brought to Minnesota. The Rci'ic-zv became the 
property of Clement H. Bronson, the present publisher, in December, 1892. 
Mr. Bronson at that time enjoying the distinction of being the youngest 
editor in the state. From a four-page paper with a circulation of two hun- 
dred and forty copies weekly, the Rcviciv has grown to an eight- to sixteen- 
page seven-column newspaper, having a circulation of over one thousand 
five hundred copies weekly. The Rcz'iciv is now printed in a modern news- 
paper plant occupying a floor space forty by one hundred feet. The office is 
equipped with a linotype machine, power presses and attached newspaper 
folder, each piece of machinery being driven by an individual electric motor. 
The Rcznczv has always been consistently Republican in politics. 


The Brandon Foiiiin was founded at Brandon by A. B. Johnson on 
October 15, 19 10. about two years after the Echo had been moved from that 
village to Alexandria. Five years later, October 15, 1915, the Forum was 
purchased by W. J. B. Moses, who has since been editor and publisher of the 


The Enterprise, published at Evansville, was established in 1889 by 
H. G. Urie, who later sold to P. A. Neff, who in turn sold, the paper to W. N. 
Bronson, brother of the editor of the Osakis Review, who is still publish- 
ing it. 

CHAFTl'K .\I\', 
Thk Bench and Bar. 

The first attorneys to locate in Douglas county for the practice of their 
profession were John Randolph and John S. Mower, who came to Alexan- 
dria in 1867, when this city was only a straggling village. Reuben Reynolds 
also came that same year. Mr. Reynolds was county attorney from 1871 to 
1873. ^I''- Mower was the first county superintendent of schools, serving 
from 1869 to 1873, and was also editor of a newspaper. F. B. V^an Hoesen. 
one of the very early settlers at Alexandria, was a lawyer and served as 
county attorney from 1869 to 1871, but spent most of his years here as a 

In 1 87 1, Knute Nelson, a young lawyer from Wisconsin, who had been 
admitted to the bar in Dane county in 1869 and practiced there two years, 
came to Alexandria and formed a partnership with Reuben Reynolds for the 
practice of law. Mr. Nelson was county attorney from 1873 to 1875; was 
elected to the state Senate in 1875; was elected to Congress in 1883 and 
served there until 1892; was elected governor of Minnesota in 1892 and 
served two terms; in January, 1895, he was elected United States senator 
and has since represented this state in the Senate. 

Nelson Fulmer studied law in the office of Mr. Nelson and was admitted 
to the bar" at .\lexandria. Mr. Fulmer practiced law here for several years; 
was county attornev from 1875 to 1879, and later moved to St. Cloud, where 
he was collector of the McCormick Harvester Company and finall\- had 
charge of collections for that company in a large part of the state. 

William F. Ball came to Alexandria from Canada in 1875 and opened 
an office for the practice of law. After residing here about ten years Mr. 
Ball moved to Fargo, North Dakota, where he died recently. 

George H. Reynolds, a son of Reuben Reynolds, came to Alexandria in 
1877. He was county attorney from 1879 to 1883. He afterward mo\ed to 
St. Cloud and engaged in the practice of law there until his death in 1914. 

Col. Horatio Jenkins, a native of Massachusetts, who had gone south 
after the Civil War, came to Alexandria from Florida in 1880 and engaged 


in the practice here until his death. He was county attorney from 1883 
to 1889. 

George L. Treat, a native of Wisconsin, and a graduate of Ann Arhor 
law school, began the practice of his profession at Alexandria in 1883, and 
has been here ever since, engaged in the law, loan and insurance business. 

C. J. Gunderson was educated at Minnesota State University and the 
Ann Arbor law school and began practice in Alexandria in 1886, and has 
ever since been one of the resident attorneys. Mr. Gunderson was county 
attorne}- from 1889 to 1903, and served eight years in the state Senate. 

Constant Larson is a native of Douglas county and after graduating 
from the law school of the State University began the practice of his pro- 
fession at Alexandria in 1894. Mr. Larson was county attorney from 1903 
to 191 3, and is the present city attorney. 

Hugh E. Leach came to Alexandria in 1906 and formed a partnership 
with C. J. Gunderson for the practice of law. Mr. Leach was elected county 
attorney in 1913 and is now serving in that "office. 

Ralph S. Thornton was educated at Drake University, Iowa, where he 
was graduated from the law department in 191 3. He came to Alexandria 
in October, 19 14, and has since been engaged here at his profession. 

F. E. Ullman located in Alexandria in 1906 and after practicing law 
here for a short time moved to another field. 

Nick Langhausen had a fine law office at Alexandria in 19 12, but his 
library was burned in 1914 and he cjuit the practice. 

A. A. Andrews practiced law for about six months at Alexandria in 1914. 


O. A. Felt, who was a graduate of the L^niversity of Minnesota, located 
at Evansville in 1896. He engaged in the practice of law there until his 
death in 1908. 

A. G. Osterberg practiced law at Brandon until his removal to Mille 
Lacs county, several years ago, where he is now register of deeds for that 

F"rank H. Borchert located at Osakis in 1896 and opened a law office 
there. Mr. Borchert is also interested in the banking business and is the 
present postmaster of Osakis. 

E. R. Ruggles was formerly engaged in the practice of law in Douglas 
countv, but is now manager of a summer hotel, called "Idlewild," at Osakis. 




Ever since its organization Douglas county has been a part of the seventh 
judicial district, which is comprised of the counties of Clay, Becker, Otter 
Tail, Wadena. Douglas, Todd, Morrison, Mille I^cs, Benton and Stearns. 

The judges who have presided in this district are as follow: James M. 
McKeLyey of St. Cloud, Stearns county, who assumed office on August i, 
1866; L. M. Collins, of St. Cloud, April 19, 1883; L. L. Baxter, of Fergus 
Falls, Otter Tail county, March 18, 1885; D. B. Searle, of St. Cloud, Novem- 
ber 14, 1887; Myron D. Taylor, of St. Cloud, December i, 1906; Carroll A. 
Nye, of Moorhead, Clay county, January i, 1911 ; William L. Parsons, of 
Fergus Falls, April 18, 1913, and John A. Roeser, of St_Cloud, April i, 1913. 

The three last named are the present judges of this district, having 
concurrent jurisdiction, and assignments are made by the senior member. 
Judge Nye. 

The Medical Profession. 

During the early )ears of the settlement of this region there were no 
regular practicing physicians hereabout, the settlers relying on the experi- 
ence of such of their number as might have a knowledge of "simples" to 
help them out of their ailments in ordinary cases and sending over to Sauk 
Center for a physician in case of emergencies, but as the charge for attend- 
ance by a physician from that distance was almost prohibitive, the emergency 
was generally extreme when such a call was made. Occasionally traveling 
doctors would come out this way and make the rounds of the settlements, 
but as far as the recollection of the survivors of that period goes Doctor 
Andrews was the first physician definitely to locate at Alexandria, where he 
remained in practice for several years. Doctor Andrews was not only a 
good physician, but an excellent surgeon, who had had considerable experi- 
ence as a practitioner in the iron region near Duluth before locating at 
Alexandria. He later moved to Aloorehead, where he spent the rest of his 

It was during the time of Doctor Andrews's residence at Alexandria 
that Doctor Borden, a young graduate physician from Boston, came out 
here and located at Alexandria, where he remained some years, later return- 
ing to Boston, whence news presently came of his death there. Then came 
Dr. Godfrey ^'ivian, an Englishman, who also came down from the iron 
range, a surgeon of wide experience, who remained at Alexandria for years, 
at the end of which time he went to California, where he spent the remainder 
of his life. Not long after the coming of Doctor Vivian, Doctor Lewis 
appeared on the scene and the two formed a partnership and started a drug 
store, of which Doctor Lewis became the active manager, the latter spending 
the balance of his life at Alexandria. 

In 1 88 1 Dr. S. W. McEwan, who had started in practice at Evansville, 
moved to Alexandria and presently formed a partnership with Doctor Vivian, 
which continued until the latter's appointment as postmaster, when Doctor 
McEwan and Dr. H. J. Boyd, the latter of whom meanwhile had located at 
Alexandria, formed a partnership. Doctor Boyd was a son of one of the 
l)ioneer families of Hudson township and had grown to manhood in this 


community. He received his medical education in Cincinnati and afterward 
for a time was engaged in practice in New York, but about 1883 he returned 
to Douglas county and .engaged in practice at Alexandria, where he spent 
the rest of his life, his death occurring about 1909. His son, Dr. Leon A. 
Boyd, is now in practice at Alexandria. Doctor McEwan became very suc- 
cessful in his practice, at the same time taking an active part in public affairs, 
and remained actively in practice until his death about ten years ago. 


In the meantime, as in all communities, other physicians had been locat- 
ing at Alexandria, some of these, however, remaining but a short time until 
attracted to some other location and thus created no Aery distinct impression 
upon the community. Among those who did locate with a definite purpose 
to remain may be mentioned Dr. James H. Drake, a young physician, who 
engaged in practice at Alexandria for a year or two and then went to 
Mondak, Montana. Dr. Frithiof L. Kling also was located for some time 
at Alexandria, but presently moved to the neighboring county seat, Elbow 
Lake, where he is now engaged in practice. Dr. W. E. Ellis, of Prentice, 
Wisconsin, also located at Alexandria, but after awhile returned to the place 
from which he had come, and Dr. Charles A. Lester, another physician of 
some years standing in Alexandria, located at Winona, this state. Dr. 
Eugene A. Hensel, who succeeded to the practice of Doctor McEwan upon 
the death of the latter, grew up in Douglas county, his parents having been 
pioneers here. He was graduated from Bush Medical College, at Chicago, 
and began practice at Alexandria in the nineties, remaining there until in 
January, 1910, when he moved to San Diego, California, where he is now 
engaged in practice. Besides Dr. Leon A. Boyd, mentioned above, the other 
practitioners at Alexandria at present are Dr. M. B. Ruud, Dr. L. W. Satter- 
lee. Dr. A. D. Haskell and Dr. L. M. Keene. 


The oldest practicing physician at present in Douglas county is Dr. C. M. 
Long, of Osakis, who was a classmate of Doctor McEwan at Rush Medical 
College, and who is now the only member left of the regular medical fratern- 
ity in this region of forty years ago, all the early physicians at Fergus Falls, 
Alexandria, Osakis, Sauk Center and St. Cloud save himself having passed 
to their reward years ago. When Doctor Long settled in Douglas county in 


1878 Alexandria was but a small hamlet and Osakis was but a feeding place 
for the ox-trains, to use the Doctor's own words in expressing the situation. 
He arrived at Osakis on the old stage from Melrose, and the St. Paul, Min- 
neapolis & Manitoba railroad was laid through Osakis to Alexandria in the 
fall of that same year, the first mixed' train being run through Osakis and 
on to Alexandria on November i6. When Doctor Long settled in practice at 
Osakis, Doctor Vivian and Doctor Lewis were in practice in Alexandria 
and had been there for some time, continuing in partnership until the death 
of Dr. Lewis at Chaska about 1882. Doctor Long was the first resident 
physician at Osakis and has remained there continuously ever since settling 
in the village, the list of physicians who later located there comprising 
Doctors Rathburn, Anderson, Scoboris, Cleveland, Titus, A. J. Gilkinson and 
Hengstler, the two latter of whom are now practicing there in partnership. 

For twenty years, or until the railway physicians in the smaller towns 
were discontinued. Doctor Long was the local physician for the Great North- 
ern railroad. From his description of the disadvantages under which the 
physician labored in the period covering the earUer years of his practice, it 
is apparent that too much cannot be said in praise of the pioneer physicians 
or of the efforts they put forth amid all possible disadvantageous conditions. 
During most parts of the year the roads were almost impassible on account 
of mud holes, stumps, rocks, ruts and the heavy snow banks of the cold 
winters of those early days. The question of price or of pay for services was 
not considered, but all calls were 'answered with a devotion to the profession 
and an interest in the patient that was as noble as it was unselfish, for many 
times the physician received not even a civil "thank you"' for his services. 

In those days it not infrequently happened that the deep snow drifts 
were the belated physician's protecting bed against freezing and the old army 
rifle kept the hungry "sassy" wolves at bay. Surgical operations often were 
performed during the night hours in the remote districts without counsel or 
assistance. All emergencies had to be met fearlessly, without any advantage 
save the exercise of double wits, courage and "dare."' Difficult surgical opera- 
tions had to be performed under conditions that would make a modern physi- 
cian's hair stand on end, there then being no opportunity for the antiseptic 
surgery of today, and it is remarkable what good results usually followed 
those daring operations. Though in too many cases the families who were 
compelled to call in the services of the physician were poor and had no 
intention of paying for the service, there sat the true physician, all night, 
watching and devising, devoted to the interests of his patient, though know- 
ing that he was not to be remunerated when all was over. 


The medical profession is represented at Alillerville by Dr. John C. 
Drexler, and at Kensington by Dr. Otto L. Hanson and at Carlos by Dr. 
P. A. Love. Doctor Gray formerly was engaged in practice at Garfield, 
which village is now without a physician. 


So far as can be ascertained the following list contains the names and 
years of service of all the physicians who have resided at Evansville : Doctor 
Hahnemann came in 1881 and moved away in 1886; Doctor AIcKenzie came 
in 1886 and stayed until 1887; Dr. Charles Nootnagel resided here in 1887-89; 
Doctor Spaulding, 1890-91; Dr. R. I. Hubert, 1891-94; Dr. Charles Van 
Cappellen, 1894-96; Dr. C. R. Ward, 1895-1903: Dr. C. W. Meckstroth, 
1896-1901 ; Doctor Bachman, 1901-1902; Dr. G. B. Mathison, 1902-1910; 
Doctor Regner, 1906-07; Dr. G. R. Melzer came in 1910; Dr. W. Hufifman, 
1912-13; Doctor Ekrem, 1914-15; Doctor Ruud and Dr. P. G. Cowing came 
to Evansville in 1916 and are now engaged in the practice there. 


The physicians who have practiced at Brandon have been as follow : 
Doctor Brown came about 1883 and resided here several years; Doctor Foss, 
1885-86; Dr. Charles Van Cappellen, 1889-1904; Dr. Gisle Bjornstad, 1893- 
96; Dr. John Lyng, 1 899-1 901 ; Dr. C. W. Meckstroth came in 1901 and still 
resides here. Dr. C. Nootnagel, Sr., a homeopath, practiced five miles west 
of Brandon from 1876 until his death a few years ago. 


From the traveling "tinker," as the settlers about the old stockade used 
to call the itinerant dentists who were wont to call at the settlement there or at 
the other early settlements in Douglas county in pioneer days, to the skilled 
and trained dental surgeons of today is a far cry, indeed. In the old days 
tooth-pulling was the chief remedy for dental ailments, though some of the 
traveling dentists were equipped with a sort of a kit of tools with which 
they would attempt the filling of teeth, Init the sufferer usually discovered 
that the filling would be dropping out within a short time. In consequence 
of the bad practice of these itinerants the pioneers usually relied upon the 
family physician for dental services, the same being confined to tooth-pulling. 


except in the cases of those who cared to make a trip to the cities for dental 

It was not until about 1880 that Alexandria had a resident dentist. Dr. 
James Bell, who came over from Minneapolis and located at the county seat, 
the first resident dentist in Douglas county. Doctor Bell presently formed a 
partnership with Doctor Hand, who came in later, and that partnership was 
continued for some time. Doctor Hand later moving to Long Prairie and 
Doctor Bell back to Minneapolis. Doctor Jordon was the next dentist to 
locate at Alexandria and he later went to Fergus Falls, where he died, and 
the next was Doctor Avery, who later went to Idaho. Dr. Harry Pritchett 
and Doctor Good located at Alexandria about that time, the former of 
whom later moved to Perham and the latter sold his practice to Dr. J. J. 
Volker, who is still engaged in practice at Alexandria. Dr. E. E. Buell 
succeeded to the practice of Doctor Jordon and is still in practice. In 1904 
Dr. C. L. Cole established an office at Alexandria and is still there, and in 
1906 Dr. C. C. Strang, present mayor of Alexandria, opened an office for 
the practice of his profession and is still thus engaged there. The latest 
dentist to locate at the county seat is Dr. L. W. Prescott, who opened an 
office there in the summer of 19 16. 

The chiropractic profession is represented by Dr. D. E. Wittenburg, 
and the osteopaths l^y Dr. J. A. McCabe. 

Banks and Banking 

The early banks of Douglas county were private institutions, often 
carried on along with some other business. When the county was unde- 
veloped it was only natural that interest rates were high. It was no uncom- 
mon thing for a money lender to ask as high as twenty-five or thirty per cent 
interest during the early days of settlement. As land values increased, inter- 
est rates were lowered, and developed farms afforded good security for loans. 
Later the rates were regulated by law and today the farmers and business 
men of Douglas county are able to secure all the money they need for legiti- 
mate enterprises at rates as reasonable as any county in the state. 

There are now four national and thirteen state banks in Douglas county. 
In 1915 these banks had capital and surplus of $529,500, and total deposits 
of $3,459,159.68. It is estimated that two-thirds of these deposits belong 
to farmers. These figures represent a per capita deposit of $195. In the 
following paragraphs brief mention is made of the officers and the financial 
condition of all the banks in Douglas county. 


The First National Bank of Alexandria is the oldest financial institu- 
tion in the county. In 1868 a private bank was established, called the Bank 
of Alexandria, of which F. B. Van Hoesen was president; C. H. Raiter, vice- 
president, and G. B. Ward, cashier. In 1883 this business was converted into 
a national bank, called the First National Bank of Alexandria. The present 
officers are: C. J. Gunderson, president; C. H. Raiter, vice-president; A. H. 
Gregersen, vice-president; P. O. Unumb, cashier; C. F. Raiter, assistant 
cashier. Directors: C. J. Gunderson, C. H. Raiter, Fred von Baumbach, 
P. O. Unumb, A. H. Gregersen, F. C. Raiter and Theodore Bordsen. 

The principal items from the statement at the close of business on June 
30, 1916, are as follows: Capital Stock, $60,000.00; surplus and undivided 
profits, $39,551.86; deposits, $766,533.15; loans and discounts, $681,563.18; 
cash assets, $158,257.71. 



The Farmers Xational Bank of Alexandria was chartered on June 12, 
1901. The first officers were as follow: Tollef Jacobson, president: J- H. 
Letson, vice-president : Andrew Jacobson, cashier ; H. A. Schaefer, assistant 
cashier. The bank has the same officers in 1916 with the addition of H. A. 
LeRoy as vice-president. 

The principal items from the statement at the close of business on June 
30, igi6, are as follows: Capital stock, $100,000.00; surplus and undivided 
profits, $31,424.33; deposits, $805,516.14; loans and discounts, $722,314.15; 
cash assets, $118,184.05. The building in which the Farmers National is 
hriused was erected in 1914 and is one of the handsomest bank buildings in 
the state. It is of Maine granite and with a marble interior, erected at a 
cost of about $65,000. 


The Douglas County State Bank was established on June 10, 1886, at 
Alexandria. The first officers were : Joseph U. Barnes, president ; William 
Moses, vice-president ; H. A. Barnes, cashier. The first board of directors 
consisted of Joseph U. Barnes, William Moses, G. A. Kortsch, Henry A. 
Barnes, E. J. Phelps, W. L. Barnes and E. A. Merrill. The present officers 
are : G. A. Kortsch, president : W. K. Barnes, cashier ; O. W. Landeen, 
assistant cashier. 

At the close of business on June 30, 1916, the bank had: Capital, 
$50,000.00: surplus and undivided profits, $11,724.34; deposits, $202,271.58; 
loans and discounts, $213,961.65; cash assets, $37,556.34. 


The Osakis State Bank was organized in ]\Iay, 1900. The first officers 
were: H. A. Shedd, president; W. P. Long, vice-president; Carl E. Oberg, 
cashier. First board of directors : H. A. Shedd, W. P. Long and \\'. B. 
Lvons. The original capital stock was $10,000. The present officers of the 
bank are : F. H. Borchert, president ; W. P. Long, vice-president ; Clyde W. 
Long, cashier; C. E. Belding, assistant cashier. Directors: F. H. Borchert, 
W. P. Long and \Y. B. Lyons. 

At the close of business on June 30, 1916, the condition of the bank 
was as follows: Capital stock, $25,000.00; surplus and undivided profits. 


$11,653.40; deposits, $309,396.70; loans and discounts, $334,486.11; cash 
assets, $27,838.34. 


The First National Bank of Osakis was organized on June 9, 1903, 
with a capital stock of $25,000.00. The first officers were : Tollef Jacob- 
son, president; Andrew Jacobson, vice-president; Nels M, Evenson, cashier. 
The present officers are: Nels M. Evenson, president; James A. Caughren, 
vice-president; G. R. Lee, cashier; D. B. McCleery, assistant cashier. 

At the close of business on May i, 1916, the bank showed the following 
financial condition: Capital stock, $25,000.00; surplus and undivided profits, 
$13,340.34; deposits, $285,766.89; loans and discounts, $239,646.75; cash 
assets, $79,300.84. 


The Farmers State Bank of Evansville was established in 1882. The 
present officers are as follow: G. H. Raiter, president; O. C. Amundson, 
vice-president; Joseph Mathison, cashier; V. F. Johnson, assistant cashier. 
A recent statement of the bank showed the following condition: Capital 
stock, $10,000.00; surplus and undivided profits, $7,500.00; deposits, $131,- 
000.00; loans and discounts, $118,000.00; cash assets, $26,000.00. 


The Evansville State Bank was established on October i, 1902, with a 
capital stock of $10,000.00. The first officers were: Tollef Jacobson, presi- 
dent; Andrew Jacobson, vice-president; Oscar Lindstrom, cashier; O. J. 
Wallen, assistant cashier. In 1904 O. J. Wallen was elected cashier. In 
May, 1912, the capital stock was increased to $25,000.00, and a surplus of 
$5,000.00 was set aside. The present officers are : John Anderson, presi- 
dent; A. J. Ostrom, vice-president; O. J. Wallen, cashier; J. T. Larson, 
assistant cashier. 

At the close of business on June 30, 1916, the condition of the bank was : 
Capital stock, $25,000.00; surplus and undivided profits, $11,013.60; deposits, 
$216,714.14; loans and discounts, $217,443.47; cash assets, $27,168.92. 



The Brandon State Bank was organized in 1902, with a capital stock 
of $10,000.00. O. F. Olson was the president and Theodore F. Olson was 
the cashier. On June 16, 1916, this institution was converted into the First 
National Bank of Brandon, with a capital stock of $25,000.00. Toilet 
Jacobsen is president and Ferd Swenson is cashier. 

Statement of the First National Bank of Brandon at the close of busi- 
ness on August 6, 1916: Capital stock, $25,000.00; surplus, $10,000.00; 
deposits, $211,932.72; loans, $179,414.91; cash assets, $45,368.95. 


The Farmers State Bank of Brandon was organized on No\-ember 11, 
1910. Its first officers were: P. O. Unumb, president; B. T. Teigen, vice- 
president; George Drexler, cashier; A. B. Burkee, assistant cashier. Mr. 
Drexler died on April 13. 1914, and was succeeded by A. B. Burkee as 
cashier. The present assistant cashier is Edwin Berg. 

At the close of business on June 30, 1916, the statement of the bank 
was as follows: Capital stock, $15,000.00; surplus, $4,000.00: deposits, 
$255,112.54; loans and discounts, $250,716.55; cash assets, $18,330.67. 


The First State Bank of Carlos was organized on Septemlier 5, 1904, 
with a capital stock of $10,000.00. The first officers were: S. .\. Netland. 
president; A. O. Netland, vice-president; James B. Hove, cashier. The 
present officers are: James B. Hove, president; A. ]\I. Kohlhaas, vice-presi- 
dent ; Edward B. Dahlsten, cashier. 

The principal items from the statement at the close of business on June 
30, 1916, are as follow: Capital stock, $10,000.00; surplus and undivided 
profits, $3,264.34; deposits, $158,338.44; loans and discounts, $145,795.76; 
cash assets, $19,850.29. 


The Garfield State Bank was organized on IMarch 2-j, 1905, with a 
capital stock of $10,000.00. The first officers were: Harry Dranger, presi- 
dent; Ferd. Swenson. cashier. The present officers are: Ferd. Swenson, 


president; John A. Linnard, vice-president; Theodore Walstad, cashier; 
George Roche, assistant cashier. 

At the close of business on June 30, 1916, the condition of the bank 
was as follows: Capital stock, $15,000,00; .surplus, $3,000.00; deposits, 
$193,427.53; loans and discounts, $185,442.04; cash assets, $19,461.59. 


The Nelson State Bank was incorporated on April 23, 1907, with a 
capital stock of $12,000.00. The officers were: James Manuel, presi- 
dent; H. J. Ernster, cashier. Directors: C. H. Larson, T. A. Erickson and 
George Stromlund. The present officers are: C. H. Larson, president; F. 
Otto Swenson, vice-president; George Stromlund, cashier; Ida A. Erickson 
and Hanna M. Stromlund, assistant cashiers. T. A. Erickson and Nels 
Sather are on the board of directors. 

At the close of inisiness on June 30, 1916. the condition of the bank 
was as follows: Capital stock, $12,000.00; surplus, $3,448.63; deposits, 
$124,867.82; loans and discounts, $120,367.25; cash assets, $13,305.79. 


The First State Bank of Kensington was established in 1909. The 
present officers are: C. H. Raiter. president; H. Thorson, vice-president; 
O. W. Harrison, cashier ; C. D. Sampson, assistant cashier. The principal 
items from the statement at the close of business on June 30, 1916, are as 
follow: Capital stock, $15,000.00: surplus and undivided profits, $6,100.83; 
deposits, $209,222.86; loans and discounts, $200,195.40; cash assets, 


The Farmers State Bank of Forada was organized in 19 13, with a 
capital stock of $10,000.00. The first officers were: Fred C. Meade, presi- 
dent; John Lorenz, vice-president; Henry Daniels, cashier. The present 
officers are: Theodore Aune, president; John Lorenz, vice-president; N. P. 
Norling, cashier. 

At the close of Ijusiness on June 30, 19 16, the statement of the bank 
showed the following condition: Capital stock, $10,000.00; surplus and 
undivided profits, $2,269.94; deposits, $48,078.80; loans and discounts, $49,- 
333.78; -cash assets, $4,130.05. 



The Alelby State Bank was estalilished in 1914. Tlie present officers 
are: E. A. Jewett, president; H. M. Palmquist, vice-president; J. L. Everts, 
cashier. A statement of the bank for June 30, 1916, shows the following 
condition: Capital stock, $10,000.00; surplus and undivided profits, $2,- 
228.39; deposits, $44,489.89; loans and discounts, $48,466.00; cash assets, 


The German American State Bank of jNlillerville was chartered on May 
II, 1914, and opened for business on August i, 1914. The present officers 
are: Tollef Jacobson, president; Frank Buscher, cashier. Directors: Tol- 
lef Jacobson, Ferd. Swenson, F. G. Dobmeyer, P. B. Lorsung and Frank 

At the cjose of business on June 30, 1916, the condition of the bank was 
as follows: Capital stock, $10,000.00; surplus and undivided profits, $2,- 
124.30; deposits, $61,616.88; loans and discounts, $54,538.16; cash assets, 


Military Annals. 

On the lawn of the Douglas county court house there stands a beautiful 
gray granite monument, surmounted by a life-size bronze figure of a soldier 
standing at guard. On the face of the granite shaft there is carved a repro- 
duction of the familiar emblem of the Grand Army of the Republic and on 
the left side of the shaft there is carved the following inscription: 


1861 TO 1865 






Douglas count}- not having had a formal, separate civic entity during 
the period of the Civil War, it having teen, previous to the spring of 1866, 
attached to Stearns C(iunt}- for civil purposes, the military annals of the 
region now comprised within the boundaries of Douglas county hardly can 
be regarded as those of the latter county, but rather of Stearns county, to 
which it then was attached. When the Civil ^^'ar broke out there were not 
manv settlers in the territory now comprised within Douglas county and of 
these all but a very few scattered and left during the time of the Indian up- 
rising in the next year, the story of which, together with a history of the 
estalilishment of the old stockade at Alexandria, following the outbreak, is 
told in an earlier chapter. Of the few settlers in this region, however, a 
goodlv percentage responded to the call to arms and joined the forces of 
the state of Minnesota in aiding to put down the rebellion of the Southern 
states, this percentage having been sufficiently high to obviate the necessity 
for the exercise of the draft throughout this region. At the close of the 
war and upon the re-establishment of a sense of security against the Indians 
in this section, settlement became quite rapid and among these settlers were 


many of the veterans of the Civil War, who came out here seeking new 
homes in this promising region. These veterans in the due course of time 
formed local posts of the Grand Army of the Republic, one at Osakis and one 
at Alexandria, and the rosters of these posts may therefore very properly 
be regarding as continuing the military annals of the county in so far as 
the Civil ^^^ar is concerned. 


The charter of John L. Reynolds Post No. 51, Grand Army of the 
Republic, Department of ^linnesota. was granted at Stillwater on October 
29, 1883, John P. Rea then being department commander and Samuel Bloo- 
neir, assistant adjutant-general, following l>eing the charter members of the 
post : Horatio Jenkins, Thomas F. Cowing, Lewis J. Brown, James S. Chap- 
man, John B. Cowing, Henry K. White, Buel Chidester, William E. Chid- 
ester, Andrew J. Ames, Charles Schultz, Lewis S. Hill, William H. Hutchin- 
son, Joseph Gilpin, Charles Perkins and Ole J. Urness. The post held its 
first meeting in Cowing's Opera Hall at Alexandria on October 29, 1883, 
and W. H. Harrington, chief mustering officer of the Department of ]\Iinne- 
sota. Grand Army of the Republic, installed the post and officers of the 
same, the officers being as follow : Commander, Horatio Jenkins ; senicjr 
vice-commander, Thomas F. Cowing; junior vice-commander, William H. 
Sanders; surgeon, Lewis J. Brown; chaplain, James S. Chapman; quarter- 
master, J. B. Cowing; adjutant, WilHam E. Chidester; officer of the day, 
Henry White ; officer of the guard, Buel Chidester ; sergeant-major, Andrew 

John L. Reynolds Post grew in strength of numljers and in local influ- 
ence with the passing of years until its roster came to number one hundred 
and seventy-nine, the meml^ers, in addition to those mentioned above being 
as follow : Hiram Shippey, Hiram P. James, James A. Shotwell, William A. 
Downs, Oliver B. Cooley, A.- H. Taylor, George A. Whitcomb, Francis 
Giles, Charles E. Jenkins, F. C. Meade, William P. Burgan, G. J. Strang. 
Samuel J. Johnson, James Shaver, George E. Ke}-es, Knute Nelson, Leon- 
ard West, Henry H. Brown, David Johnson, Peter Lundgren, W. H. Hal- 
stad, W. C. Roland, John Lindquist, John Barnard, Hamilton Tavlor, F. G. 
Stevens, N. N. Hardy, Fred von Baumbach, A. A. Brown, James C. Miller. 
Royal Colby, Dennis Crandall, \\'. R, Franklin, James A. Miller, C. \\'. Co- 
field. Moses Fredenberg, Isaiah Johnson, Cah'in .\bbott, .Albert Hubljell. 
Rial Catlin, Thomas Kinney. Mathias Swap, Joseph Cramer. William H 


Countryman, R. B. Oliver, George W. Frost. Paul Paulson, Carl W. Wood- 
ward. Xels Abrahamson, H. L. Lewis, James F. Dicken, William L. 'Slc- 
Kenzie, William P. Rogers, Daniel Allee, Martin J. Norde, Johnson Baker, 
Christopher Halvorsen, George W. Gardner, Thomas Bratton. John N. 
Shelru, George W. Partridge, Olaf Dahlheim, James Madison, John Sund- 
blad, Andrew J. Urness, George G. ^Mitchell, William Hounsell, James J. 
McQuillan, Luther South, James R. Patten, Olaf Fahlin, Philander Brooks, 
Gilbert Olson, John Olson, Jr., Moses Ingersoll, H. G. Fladeland, Cyrus B. 
Chase. James W. Roath. Henry Johnson, Fred Prodger, Samuel Jones, John 
Peterson. Andrew Burkee, John X. Hanson, John A. Anderson, Nicholas 
Mager, Peter Smith, John DeBilzen, August Wilm, J. L. Kasson, J. C. 
Terrvl, Gustav Olason, William Ziska, John A. Johnson, Charles Laurel, 
\\'illiam Kapphahn, Joshua M. Doudna, Alonzo Kellogg, Laurentz Johnson, 
Justus O. Kellogg, Nicholas Renkes, John Hobart, John E. Allen, William 
A. Baile}-, John C. Carley, Francis W. Frederick, John Moses, James Fitz- 
gerald, Frank Webber, Frank H. Colby, George H. Ostrum, William Mc- 
Crory, William B. Dow, Olie Olson, Olie Brandson, Charles Buscher, Charles 
H. Wright, Ed. Peterson, Josiah Kimball, James H. Abbott, Nicholas Sand- 
strom. Nelson Peck, Almon Warner, Stephen W. Miller, Theo. A. Emerson, 
August Gutzman, George A. Freundenberg, \"alentine Nichols, Egbert Ful- 
lerton, Gilbert Hayford, Samuel Laws, Alvin Milligan, John R. Moran, 
James Bright, Jesse Barrick, Amos Bacon, William A. McDonald, Henry 
Haner, Solomon Demming, David R. B. Hall, Edward Alger, Joseph Alger, 
Benjamin W. Noe, Charles W. Sutton, P. L. Letherman, R. Larson, Vincent 
Cooley, Chris McCabe, Frank J. Stevens, Thomas Cooper, Henry Yerigen. 
Charles F. McKillips, William Cort, James Goddard, James Watters, Rev. 
T. W. Critchette, D. D., Melvin Cushman, George Mathison, Gottlieb Grie- 
bio, Lewis S. Patten and Melvin Churchman, besides whom the names of 
John Anderson, Thomas Carpenter and William Wagoner are mentioned on 
the roll as veterans not members of the post. 

With the passage of time and in consequence of death and removals, 
the present membership of the post has dwindled down to thirty-two. Meet- 
ings are held in a room on the second floor of the court house, provided 
through the courtesy of the county commissioners, and the present (1916) 
officers of the post are as follows: Commander, Rev. T. W. Critchette, D. 
D. ; senior vice-commander, Thomas Cooper; jimior vice-commander, Frank 
F. Stevens; officer of the day, Luther South; officer of the guard, Henry 
A'earkin; adjutant, Melvin Cushman; quartermaster, James Watters, and 
chaplain. T. W. Critchette. 



John Kennedy Post No. 41, Department of Minnesota, Grand Arm}- of 
the Republic, was instituted at Osakis on May 27, 1885, with M. D. Judkins, 
W. H. Crows, F. A. Caswell, William Johnson, S. R. Smith, M. Johnson, 
W. H. Stevens, V. A. Edgerly, John Bailor, L. E. Stallcop, H. H. Sander- 
son, J. B. Johnson, B. W. Viles, H. O. Whipple, John Casterline, J. H. 
Passon, John Hoosline, E. J. Wickwire, Stephen John, J. B. Sherman, J. H. 
Rock, W^ B. Lyons, A. O. Chapin, E. G. Pike, C. N. Tubbs, C. W. B. Taylor 
and Paul Harmon as charter members and the following officers : Com- 
mander, Joseph Bird; senior vice-commander, Levi Stallcop; junior vice- 
commander, I\Iark D. Judkins, and adjutant, \\\ H. Crows. Kennedy post 
remained active for many }"ears, but in course of time its ranks l>ecame so 
thinned b}" death and removals that it finally disbanded. At one time the 
post was a strong organization, owned their own building and held their 
meetings with due regularity. But as the years advanced death entered the 
ranks, many moved away, interest subsided and it was found impossible to 
maintain the post. Following is a complete roster of the post, sixty-seven 
in all: M. D. Judkins, William H. Crowe, F. A. Caswell, S. R. Smith, 
Morgan Johnson, William H. Stevens, V. A. Edgley, John Bailor, Levy 
Stalcap, H. H. Sanderson, J. B. Johnson, C. N. Tiebs, E. G. Pike, O. O. 
Chapin, O. A\\ Tiger, B. W. Viles, Paul Harmon, H. O. Whiffle, John Cas- 
terton, John Hoostine, P. H. Pason, E. Wickwire, John Stephen, John B. 
Scherman, John H. Rock, W^ B. Lyons, William Johnson, James H. Fisher, 
W. W. Wood, AL W. Adley, Joseph Bird, James Stanley, William Millard, 
William Curtis, 'SL G. Tixley, John R. Lysing, David Chapman, Webster 
Howard, Sam Gonser, J. H. Mann, O. H. P. Fans, George Haskins, John 
Debord, Rubin L. Buck, Calvin Ripley, B. D. Judkins, A. O. Berry, R. B. 
Saterlee, J. B. Perkins, D. A. Edwards, Alexander Brink, Charles Peterson, 
William Knowles, Jacob Bowman, John Kileble, L. P. Beeding, Dennis 
Huntley, William Schroeder, A. J. Marrow, John Shaw, Ruben Skeesucker, 
V. Warren, W. W. Gorden, R. Tilton, Dennis Harden, M. Tilton, R. H. 
Belnap,, C. S. Grover. 


On the 25th of May, 1898, just one month after the declaration of war 
l:)et\veen the United States and Spain, President McKinley issued his second 


call for troops. The patriotic fervor was at its height throughout the county. 
At the city of Alexandria there was organized a company of volunteers, one 
hundred and forty strong, which was promised a place in the Fifteenth Regi- 
ment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, but like a good many other like 
organizations, it was doomed to be disappointed, for there were sixty such 
companies and only twelve could be used at this time, and the Alexandria 
volunteers were asked to wait for the Sixteenth. In the first few days of 
July a number of the boys went to the cities and enlisted in other companies 
rather than wait for the promised Sixteenth Regiment. 

Those enlisting in Company B, under Capt. John W. Fineout, were as 
follows : Asa P. Brooks, Frank R. Beisholdt, Erik Florman, Martin Jensen, 
WiUiam F. Miller, John O'Farrell, Henry T. Ronning, Benjamin F. Gaskill, 
Bendix N. Bekker, William Gauthier, Louis O. Lund, David Myers, Oscar 
I. Peterson and Carl C. A'anDyke, all of Alexandria. 

Those enlisting in Company G, under Capt. L. S. Nelson were as fol- 
lows : William A. Downs, George A. Fish, Edward P. Lampman, Ovey V. 
Shippey, Henry C. Eichman, Carl J. King and Frank L. Lampman, all of 
Alexandria, and Nick Sward, of Nelson Station. 

They were first stationed at the state fair grounds, at Camp Ramsey, 
named in honor of the first governor of Minnesota, and there on July 18, 
1898, the regiment was mustered in as a body. On August 2^^ the entire 
regiment, except Company G was moved to Ft. Snelling, on account of the 
epidemic of typhoid fever which had taken a strong hold on the boys at 
Camp Ramsey. Company G was left to police the grounds and followed the 
main body the next day. Although several of the boys from Douglas county 
fell a prey to the dreaded disease, they were all fortunate in recovering. Not 
so with all in the regiment, however, for a great number died. On the 15th 
of September the boys left for Camp Meade, Pennsylvania. On November 
15 the boys again moved, this time to Augusta, Georgia, where they remained 
until they were mustered out on March 27, 1899. In addition to those volun- 
teers from Douglas county mentioned above, there were about half a dozen 
who enlisted in various other regiments. 

Fraternal and Benevolent Societies. 

The spirit of fraternity in the way of formal organizations of the vari- 
ous secret societies began early to be manifested in Douglas county after 
the rough edges of pioneer living had been somewhat worn off, and, although 
this community is not so strongly marked by the presence of secret societies 
as are some communities in the state, there have been from the beginning 
some well-organized and influential fraternal associations in the county. 
Some of these have maintained their organization in compact form; others 
have flourished for a time and then gone down through a decline in interest 
on the part of their respective memljers. The majority of the lodges in the 
county at present are those organized for insurance purposes rather than 
for any other reason and the social side of these latter associations has never 
been very strongly played up, the members keeping up their "dues" in behalf 
of the insurance feature, but giving little attention to the fraternity idea 
that is made much of by some such associations in other communities. The 
majority of these have no corporate existence and some do not even main- 
tain lodge headquarters. An effort has been made to obtain a complete list 
of the various fraternal and benevolent societies in the county, but the Hsl 
which follows does not purport to be complete, not a few of the societies 
thus approached for information failing to supply the necessary data to 
make up a report on the same. 

The first "lodge" to file articles of incorporation in Douglas county was 
Alexandria Lodge No. 54, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which on 
]\Iay I, 1876, was incorporated with the following charter members: B. 
Nicholas, W. L. McCallum, Evison Atkinson, August Kortsch and Samuel 
Beidelman, the articles of incorporation being signed by W. L. McCallum, 
noble grand; Evison Atkinson, vice-grand, and Fred von Baumbach, sec- 

The second was Ida Grange No. 395, incorporated on June 4, 1877, with 
the following charter members : E. H. Alden, Scharlatte Alden, Alexander 
Hasbrook, James F. Dicken, Jerome Dicken, Joseph Pennar. Abner Darling, 


Reuben Ecker. Rebecca A. Ecker, Elizabetb Bedman. Heiir)' Alden and Henry 
H. Brown. 

On March 14, 1895, Brandon Lodge No. 224, Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows, was instituted with F. W. Ruppelius, Herman Nootnagel, 
Gustavus Gunther, Rudolph Wagner, Joshua M. Doudna and the following 
officers: Noble grand, F. W. Ruppelius; vice-grand, Herman Nootnagel, 
and secretary, L. E. Williams. 

Douglas Encampment No. 47, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, ac- 
cording to its articles of incorporation filed in the office of the register of 
deeds, was instituted on September 25, 1897, with George G. S. Campbell, 
James Walker, James H. ^'an Dyke, A. G. Sexton, A. W. Curtis, Rudolph 
Wegener, J. A. ]\IcKay, Fred von Baumbach, H. K. White. George F. \Miit- 
comb, J. E. Lundgren, Hugo Lundbohm, Wego ^^'erner, F. E. FrankHn, 
Michael Hickey, Gilbert Sargent, N. P. Jacobson, Charles Culross, J. P. 
Simonson, H. J. Boyd, A. M. Kohlhaas, H. T. Halvorson, William McKay, 
R. J. McNeil, P. Atkinson, Jolm Templeton, Thomas Hall, S. W. McEwan 
and A. E. Shippey, charter members. 

At a meeting held on December 7, 1898, Alexandria Lodge No. 185, 
Ancient Order of United Workmen, was incorporated with the following 
charter members : Arthur S. Mason, Leon E. Waite, Simon. R. Drum, 
Cyrus T. Allen, C. W. Ridley, D. J. Jones, Fred C. Meade, George R. 
Auxer, O. J. Reynolds, H. G. Atwood, L. C. Atwood. O. A. Bailor, G. B. 
Carlton. C. L. Gilbert, C. H. Kline, C. N. ]\Iitchell and .V. D. Sargent, with 
the following officers: :Master workman, William E. Kellogg; foreman, 
J. W. Robards; overseer, Nels Erickson; recorder, L. C. Atwood; financier, 
J. E. Peterson; receiver, Charles S. Brown; guide, A. E. Shippey; inside 
watch, Hugo Heere : outside watch, J. L. Burgan. 

Alexandria Lodge No. 133, Knights of Pythias, at Alexandria, was 
incorporated on December 13, 1898, said lodge having been instituted on 
June 13, 1894, the charter members being F. B. A'an Hoesen, Charles S. 
Mitchell, L. E. Waite, George E. Soper, N. W. Hicks, G. A. Kortsch, W. K. 
Barnes, Milo Strieker, Alex. Jacobson, Walter E. Peck, H. K. White, George 
S. Spaulding, G. T. Morrisse, H. T. Halvorson, George F. Whitcomb, Glaus 
J. Gunderson, J. H. Letson, N. L. Page, W. F. Jordan, C H. Raiter, S. D. 
Moles, H. W. Allen, R. J. McNeil, George L. Treat, G. B. Ward, ^^'. T. 
Cowing, E. P. Wright, C. A. Benson, P. O. Unumb, H. Jenkins, Sr., W. F. 
Sundblad, S. W. McEwan, N. .P. Ward, D. J. Jones, H. J. Boyd and Joseph 
F. Hieljel, the officers at the time of incorporation having been as follow: 
Chancellor commander. ToUef Jacolison; vice-chancellor, ]\Iiles Strieker; 


prelate. W.'H. Thompson; master of work, W. T. Hendren; keeper of record 
and seal, Joseph F. Hiebel; master of exchequer, P. O. Unumb; master at 
arms, Andrew Jacobson; trustees, Charles S. Mitchell, H. K. White and 
W. K. Barnes. This lodge is no longer active, having surrendered its 
charter some years ago. 

Urness Camp No. 5521, ]\Iodern Woodmen of America, in the town of 
Urness, at a meeting held in the camp rooms on July 25, 1899, was incor- 
porated, the officers of the camp at that time being as follow: Venerable 
counsel, Oscar Erickson : worthy advisor, John A. Urness; banker, E. G. 
Erickson; clerk, Oscar Lindstrom; escort, John G. Doobin; watchman, John 
J. Bugge; sentry, Ole A. Johnson; managers, Henry N. Hanson, P. J. Bugge 
and Nels J. Urness. The charter members of this camp were Peder J. Bugge, 
John J. Bugge, John G. Doobin, Erick G. Erickson, Oscar Erickson, Henry 
N. Hanson, Ole A. Johnson, Oscar Lindstrom, Charles S. Peterson, Albert 
Ouam, Andrew Ouam. John A. Urness, Ole K. Urness, Nils J. Urness and 
Thomas Thompson. 

The Scandinavian Mutual Aid Association Siloah, of Holmes City, was 
incorporated on December 18, 1899, an association for relief in sickness, 
accident or death, the articles of incorporation being signed by the follow- 
ing officers: President, H. L. Lewis, vice-president. Per J. Holm, secretary, 
R. \'allquist; treasurer, Jens Backelin; directors at large, P. J. Christopher- 
son and John Holmstedt. 

Perlbandet Lodge No. 49, Independent Order of Good Templars, was 
incorporated on Novemljer 30, 1910, with the following officers: President, 
Peter Hoglin; vice-president, Jennie Johnson; secretary, Ole Wallner; treas- 
urer, Andrew Hjelm; trustees, Albert Hanson, Paulus Paulson and P. J. 

Besides the Grand Army Post and the W'oman's Relief Corps, which 
are treated of in the chapter relating to military annals, there are at Alexan- 
dria, the county seat, lodges and societies as follow: Constellation Lodge 
No. 81, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Lyra Chapter No. 166, Order 
of the Eastern Star: Alexandria Lodge No. 54, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows; Douglas Encampment Xo. 47, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; 
Canton Caledonia, Patriarchs Militant; Lady of the Lake Lodge No. 173, 
Daughters of Rebekah ; Alexandria Homestead No. 589, Brotherhood of 
American Yeomen; Alexandria Lodge No. 185, Ancient Order of United 
Workmen; St. Mary's Court No. 1067, Catholic Order of Foresters; Alex- 
andria Lodge No. 904, Modern Brotherhood of America; Park Region Camp 
No. 2416, Modern Woodmen of America; Maple Camp No. 2064. Royal 


Neighl)ors; Alexandria Tent No. 65, Knights of the Maccabees, and a lodge 
of the Ladies of the Maccabees; Alexandria Lodge No. 357, American 
Nobles: Alexandria Council No. 1715, Knights and Ladies of Security; 
Alexandria Observatory No. 89, North Star Lodge, an active branch of the 
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Douglas County Humane So- 
ciety and the Douglas County Agricultural Society. 

woman's, christian temper.ance union. 

The Alexandria branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union 
vifas organized at a meeting held at the Methodist church in February, 1908, 
presided over by Miss Green, with the following charter members : Mrs. 
George E. Tindall, Mrs. Fred Williams, Mrs. Francis Davis, Mrs. Ida Tart, 
Mrs. Orin Kellogg and Mrs. Otto Landeen, the first officers being as follow : 
President, Mrs. Martha Williams; vice-president, Mrs. Francis Davis; secre- 
tary, Mrs. Orin Kellogg: treasurer, Mrs. Otto Landeen. The union now 
has a membership of sixty-six and is officered as follow: President, Mrs. 
Eva Wold; vice-president, Mrs. Leonora Squires; corresponding secretary, 
Mrs. Anna Poalson; recording secretary, Mrs. AHce Haskins; treasurer, Mrs. 
Martha Lobeck. At Evansville, Brandon, Garfield, Kensington, Ida and 
Nelson there are also active branches of this form of social work, the cor- 
responding secretary of the union at Evansville being Mrs. W. M. Thomp- 
son; Garfield, Mrs. Anna Loren; Kensington, Mrs. Agnes Osterberg; Bran- 
don Young Peoples Band, Reuben Hermanson; Ida Young Peoples Band, 
Miss Belle Angus, and Nelson Young Peoples Band, Emmaline Younger. 


The Douglas Chapter, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, at Alex- 
andria, was organized on November 4, 1914. The first officers were as fol- 
low: Mrs. Etta Mulligan, president; Mrs. Ethel Kinney, vice-president; Mrs. 
Katherine Brandt, recording secretary; Mrs. Eunice Franklin, correspond- 
ing secretary: Mrs. Anna Helming, treasurer. 

The active charter members were : Mrs. Etta Mulligan, Mrs. Katherine 
Brandt, Mrs. Eunice Franklin, Mrs. Ethel Kinney, Mrs. Anna Helming. 
Mrs. Mable Reynolds, Mrs. Ida Hanson, Miss Eva Whiting, Mrs. Jessie 
Walters, Mrs. Mary Larsen, Mrs. Elizabeth Sherwood, Mrs. Maud Larson, 
Mrs. Cornelia Osten-Sacken. Mrs. Lillian Bovd, Mrs. Louise Wedum, Mrs. 

l)()i;i;las and grant counties, Minnesota. 295 

.■\iigeline Hounsell, Mrs. Delia Nelson, Mrs. Ida Lor, Mrs. Florence Hicks, 
Mrs. Bertha Osborn. Mrs. Mary Geer and Mrs. Freudenberg. 

The honorary charter members were: S. C. Nelson, R. C. Franklin, 
E. J. Brandt, Elmer Watters, John T. Flanagan and Fergus A. Flanagan. 
The present officers are : Miss Eva Whiting, president; Mrs. Louise Wedum, 
vice-president; Miss Mae Cowan, recording secretary; Mrs. Henrietta 
Morris, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Anna Helming, treasurer. The 
chapter now has fift^•-four active members and nineteen honorar)- members. 


A dispensation was granted to organize Constellation Lodge No. 81, 
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Alexandria on February 25, 1869. 
The lodge was duly organized on March 8, 1869, with the following officers: 
N. B. Patterson, worshipful master: L. ^^^ Kilbourne. senior ma,ster; F. B. 
Van Hoesen, junior warden; John D. Aldrich, junior deacon; \A'. T. Eng- 
lish, senior deacon : L. W. Rima, tyler ; George F. Cowing, treasurer ; L. G. 
Sims, secretary. The charter of the lodge was received on January 27, 1870. 
The lodge now has a membership of one hundred and fifteen, with the fol- 
lowing officers: W. J. Sheldon, worshipful master; J. H. Stevens, senior 
warden; H. E. Leach, junior warden; C. C. Strang, senior deacon; A. M. 
Foker, junior deacon; C. H. Raiter, senior steward ; F. Garvey, junior stew- 
ard; C. Fiskness, tyler; C. F. Raiter, treasurer; J. A. Kinney, secretary. 


Osakis Lodge No. 180, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, was organ- 
ized at Osakis on May 5, 1888, by Deputy Grand Master Bridgman, of 
Star in the ^^'est Lodge No. 60, at Sauk Center, Minnesota. The charter 
members were: W. H. Crowe, J. H. Rock, H. Chalfant, G. R. Babbitt, W. 
P. Long, W. B. Lyons, C. Nelson and L P. Schei. The first officers were: 
VV. H. Crowe, worshipful master; J. H. Rock, senior warden; H. Chalfant, 
junior warden ; W. B. Lyons, secretary ; W. P. Long, treasurer. This lodge 
holds its meetings in the Masonic hall in the Caughren block. The officers 
for 1916 are: C. G. Millard, worshipful master; G. L. Bryant, senior 
warden; L. M. Thorbum, secretary; J. M. Curtis, treasurer. 

Evansville Lodge No. 214, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at 
Evansville, was organized on May 25, 1894, with the following charter 
members : Charles W. Webb, Christ Nelson, P. J. Wrangelborg, Olaf Dahl- 


heim and F. N. Miner, the first elective officers being as follow : Wor- 
shipful master, Charles \\'. Webb; senior warden, Christ Xelson; junior 
warden, P. J. Wrangelborg ; treasurer, Olaf Dahlheim; secretary, F. N. 
Miner. The lodge has a present membership of thirty-six and the pres- 
ent (1916) officers are as follow: Worshipful master, Allen H. Nelson; 
senior warden, E. L. Anderson; junior warden, A. C. Hanson; treasurer, 
C. W. Webb; secretary, H. E. Alstead. 


Alexandria Lodge No. 54, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 
instituted on April 18, 1876, at Alexandria, with the following charter mem- 
bers: B. Nichols, \y. L. McCalum, Evison Atkinson, August Kortsch and 
Samuel Beidleman. The first officers were as follow : Noble grand, W. L. 
McCalum ; vice-grand, E. Atkinson ; recording secretary, Fred von Baum- 
bach; treasurer, August Kortsch. The present membership of the lodge 
numbers one hundred and thirty-eight and the present officers are : Noble 
grand, L. P. Schroeder; vice-grand, A. C. Jensen; recording secretary, John 
C. Antonson ; financial secretary, F. E. Franklin ; treasurer, C. H. Jensen. 

Douglas Encampment No. 47, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 
instituted on September 25, 1897, i^i Odd Fellows hall at Alexandria with 
the following charter memljers : George G. S. Campbell, James Walker, 
James H. \'an Dyke, A. G. Sexton, A. W. Curtis, Rudolph Wegener, J. A. 
McKay, F. von Baumbach, H. K. White, George F. Whitcomb, J. E. Lund- 
gren, Hugo Lumbohm, Wego Werner, F. E. Franklin, Michael Hickey, 
Gilbert Sargeant, N. P. Jacobson. Charles Culross, J. P. Simonson, H. J. 
Boyd, A. M. Kahlhaas, H. T. Halverson, W. W.. McKay, R. J. McNeal, 
Parnell Atkinson, John Templeton, Thomas Hall, S. W. McEwan and A. E. 
Shippey. The first officers were George G. ,S. Campbell, James Walker, 
James H. Van Dyke, A. G. Sexton, R. Wegener and J. A. McKay. The 
present membership of the Encampment is thirty-one and the present officers 
are Fred Radecop, N. N. Akesen, A. E. Alger, G. A. Anderson, F. E. 
Franklin, F. T. Geer and Richard Chase. 

Canton Caledonia No. 18, Patriarchs Militant, Independent Order ,of 
Odd Fellows, was instituted on February 10, 19 10, in Odd Fellows hall at 
Alexandria, with the following charter members: J. E. Lundgren, F. E. 
Franklin, J.' S. McKay, A. H. McKay, L. C. Atwood, J. A. McKay, S. B. 
McKay, George M. \'iering, A. E. Shippey, R. A. McKay, G. A. Anderson. 
J. A. Munkberg, John S. Lien, Casper Hanson, F. T. Geer, Elmer E. Peter- 


son, E. C. Oppel and A. G. Sexton. The first officers were as follow : Cap- 
tain, J. E. Lundgren ; lieutenant, F. E. Franklin ; ensign, J. S. McKay ; clerk, 
A. H. 2\IcKav; treasurer, L. C. Atwood. The present membership is sixteen 
and the present officers are: Captain, F. T. Geer; lieutenant, J. A. McKay; 
ensign, L. S. Kent; clerk, E. E. Franklin; treasurer, G. A. Anderson. 

Lady of the Lake Rebekah Lodge No. 173, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, was instituted on April 8, 1898, in Odd Fellows hall at Alexandria, 
with the -following charter members : J. E. Lundgren, Mary J. Campbell, 
William McKay, E. C. Raiter, Nina Pratt, John Templeton, Julia Baumbach, 
F. C. Oppel, G. G. S. Campbell, Lillian R. Boyd, J. A. McKay, Ella M. 
Sweet, Maud McKay, Charles J. Lindstrom, B. T. Emerson, Claudia Stevens, 
R. J. McNeal, Henriette Wilson, Millie O. Sexton, Ollie Rodgers, Caroline 
Lindstrom, George E. Whitcomb, Winnie Van Loon, May Hall, A. G. Sex- 
ton, Sarah Walker, Cora M. Brooks, R. Wegener, Mary E. Geer, Marie 
Walker, Thomas Hall, F. von Baumbach, L. S. Kaiser, E. E. Robinson, C. 
Tart, A. W. Curtis, A. E. Shippey, F. T. Geer, Charlotte Campbell, J. H. 
Van Dvke, Ellen M. Kaiser, Louise C. Kortsch, S. S. Pratt, Anna Temple- 
ton, Emma L. Shippey, E. E. Dent and Alice E. McNeal. The first officers 
were as follows : Noble grand, Ella M. Sweet ; vice-grand, Louise C. Kortsch ; 
recording secretary, Charlotte Campbell; financial secretary, Winona Sex- 
ton ; treasurer, Maud McKay. The present membership is seventy-six and 
the present officers are : Noble grand, Ida Alger ; vice-grand, Clara Schroed- 
er: recording secretary, Josephine Satterlee; financial secretary, E. E. 
Franklin; treasurer, Mattie Allen. 


Alexandria Homestead No. 589, Brotherhood of American Yeomen, 
was organized on March 28, 1902, at a meeting in E. E. Buell's office in the 
city of Alexandria, the meeting being called to order by C. W. Collinge, 
tleputy. On April 2, 1902, the first officers of the Homestead were elected, 
as follow : Past foreman, E. A. Hensel ; foreman, E. E. Buell ; master of 
ceremonies, Frank Raiter; master of accounts, Nelse Erickson; correspond- 
ent, Newton Trenham ; chaplain, James L. Alton ; overseer, Frank Miller ; 
watchman, S. R. Sweet; sentinel, Charles S. MitcheU,; guard, ^^'illianl E. 
Xesbitt; lodge deputy. Roljert Brough. The first regular place of meeting 
was in the Knights of Pythias hall, also known as the N. P. Ward hall, and 
at that time it was decided to meet on the first Friday of each month. This 
date was afterward changed to the first and third ^^londavs of each month. 


and those are still the meeting nights of the order. The original charter 
became lost in the early existence of the order and a new one was issued by. 
the home ofifice. The charter, as it is now, has the following names enrolled: 
James L. Alton, Xels Erickson, Eugene Hensel, William E. Nesbitt, Orin 
Kellog, Ripley C. Bondurant, Annie E. Roberts, Ragna Olson, Claud E. 
Colin-, Edmund H. Gilmore, Daniel Stromlund, John E. Peterson, Lewis 
Stewert Kent, William J. Young, Theodore L. Bordsen, Frank E. Raiter, 
Robert Brough, Xoah P. \\'ard, Peter O. Bolin, Ouincy M. Gilmore, Grace 
M. .\iton, John Eiden, Charles Daniels, Byron A. Strieker, Ida Young, 
Adelbert E. Shippey, John Swenson, Elmer T. Drum, H. T. Holverson, 
Joseph J. Mode, Samuel James, Lyman C. Atwood, Stephen R. Sweet, E. C. 
Wagoner, Frank C. Olson, Franklin B. McKenzie, Nellie L. Nesbitt, Charles 
A. Benson, Arthur S. Mason, John Johnson, Hermon Thompson, Jessie A. 
Strieker, Enock F. Nelson, George Washington Ramsdell, Bertha McGray, 
Clarence W. Lee, Alatilda Nelson, John A. ]McCabe, Anton Kust, David 
Nelson, Louis C. Lamser, Jennie Alton, Magnus Munson, \'irgil E. Hawley, 
M. J. Sweet, James G. Crozier, B. W. Mitchell, Clell Blanchard, James A. 
Kinney, Rienhard Merki, Elmer E. Peterson, Thomas R. Aiton, Alice O. Far- 
rar, William Erickson, Peter R. Sorenson, Carl K. McGray, Amelia A. 
Daniels, Gustus C. Preston. Charles E. Farrar, Ethel Kinney, Clara Merki, 
Elmer Roberts, Laura Bondurant and Fred Raiter. The present officers of 
the Homestead are: Foreman, William A. Downs: master of ceremonies, 
E. E. Evans; master of accounts, Nels Erickson; correspondent, Nellie L. 
Nesbitt; chaplain, Jessie O. Waters; overseer, William E. Nesbitt; Lady 
Rowena, Lillian B. Downs; Lady Rebecca, Laura Bondurant; watchman, 
William J. Young; sentinel, \\'ilmott L. Lawson. The Homestead now 
meets in Raiter's Hall and has a present membership of one hundred and 


Lodge No. 904, ^Modern Brotherhood oi America, was organized at 
Alexandria on July 12, 1901, with the following charter members: Frank 
S. Fredenburg, Herman S. Anderson, Theo. F. Damask, Clarence H. Yeri- 
gan, Charles E. Aiton, Edwin P. Wright, Nathan A. Blanchard, Constant 
Larson, Carlos Whitcomb, George Gustafson, James L. Aiton, Emil A. 
Polzine, Rol^ert W. McFarlane, Samuel A. Engstrom, John Milligan. N. 
Gauthier, Olof Sutherland, Michael Milligan, Charles H. Gabion, Nels E. 
Johnson, Nels Erickson, William Lee, Edwin D. JMaxon, Axel R. Diseth, 
George P. Craig, Eugene L. Norton, Andrew Westlund, Frank Scriven, 


Arnold F. Will, Oscar H. Gahlom, Lewis C. Nelson, Irwin A. Lee, Gustaf 
A. Diseth, Andrew Broms, Ernest De F. 2\Iaxon and Lyman C. Atwood. 
Lodge records were all destroyed by tire on P'ebruarv 26, 1913, when the 
Gunderson and Raiter buildings were burned. The alxive is taken from a 
duplicate charter which was furnished after the fire. Policies issued at the 
date of organization are signed by Ernest D. Maxon, president, and Geo. 
P. Craig, secretary. Meetings are held in Raiter's Hall on the fourth Fri- 
day evening of each month. The present membership of the lodge is 
twenty-one, and the present officers are as follow : D. B. Shepard, presi- 
dent; W. C. Nass, vice-president; George P. Craig, secretary; W. E. Xesbitt. 
treasur'/r: H. S. Anderson, conductor; S. A. Engstrom, chaplain; G. A. 
AndersVm, inside guard; J. L. .\iton, outside guard. 


The Douglas County Humane Societ}- was organized on June 21, 1904, 
with the following charter members : J. S. Cowen, John J. .\llen, Cleveland ■ 
H. Hicks, Maurice Cohn, Constant Larson, H. S. Campbell, C. A. Benson 
and Frank Stevens. The first officers were: President, X. P. Ward; secre- 
tary, Cleveland H. Hicks; treasurer, \\'. K. Barnes. The present officers are: 
President, Frank M. Stevens; secretary, George I... Treat; treasurer, W. K. 
Barnes. The present membership is about one hundred and seventy-five. 
Though the society was organized at Alexandria, the membership is from all 
parts of the county. During the twelve years since its organization the 
society has investigated more than ninety complaints of cruelty, seventy-five 
of which have been complaints of cruelty to animals; eleven of crueky to 
children, and four of cruelty to adults. There have been nine prosecutions 
of cruelty to animals \vith eight convictions. Twenty-eight animals have 
been killed by order of the society, and thirteen children have been taken 
from their parents on account of cruelty and neglect and sent to the State 
Public School at Owatonna on complaint of the society, whose motto is : 
"We speak for those that cannot speak for themselves." 


Alexandria, the County Seat. 

Beautiful for location. Alexandria, "Lady of the Lakes," county seat 
of Douglas county, occupies a charming and most advantageous position in 
the delightful park region of Minnesota and has for many years enjoyed 
its well-merited reputation as one of the prettiest and most flourishing 
county-seat towns in the state. In the beginning it was fortunate in being 
settled by an intelligent and enterprising class of citizens and the high stand- 
ard of citizenship then established has ever been maintained, its business, 
school and church privileges being second to no other city of its size and the 
equal of those of much larger places. Its miles of cement sidewalks, well- 
graded streets, attractive homes, spacious and well-kept lawns and abundance 
of shade trees combine to make Alexandria an ideal place of residence, ren- 
dered all the more attractive by its proximity to the chain of seven lakes, 
pronounced by ^^'arren L^pham, of the Minnesota Historical Society, to be 
the finest chain (jf lakes in the state and whose shores are lined with summer 
cottages, club houses and resort hotels, making the city the center of the 
summer tourist business throughout the park region, greatly swelling the 
population during the summer months. 

According to the census returns of 1910 Alexandria then had a popu- 
lation of three thousand and one, but conservative estimates now place the 
population at between thirty-three hundred and thirty-five hundred and 
continued building operations point to a rapidly increasing population. The 
cit^' has several thriving manufacturing establishments, substantial banking 
institutions and business houses and has excellent facilities as a market for 
grain and produce, with an outlet, by way of the Great Northern railway and 
the "Soo"' line, to three of the best markets in the Northwest, St. Paul, 
[Minneapolis artd Duluth. " It has a handsome postoffice building, erected by 
the federal government at a cost of sixty thousand dollars, a fine lilirary 
containing some nine thousand volumes, two fine grade school buildings, a 
new high-school building erected at a cost of seventy thousand dollars, three 
banks with combined deposits of more than one and one-half million dol- 
lars, the Douglas county buildings, eleven churches, three commercial hotels, 
besides the adjacent summer hotels, and three enterprising and well-conducted 

East side of Main street, pUutoiiraphecl iii IsKi. Tlie largo liuiiaing is the old Dougla 
House, a location now oceiiiiieil by the James Walker store. 

Looking north along Main street from Campbell's Mi 

Home of Willi.iui E. Hii-ks. one «t tlw cliief iiromoters of the 
Alexjindria towusite. in the latter sixties: a sample of the kind of 
Imiiaiiiirs in wliieli the very liest of the pioneers liad to live. This 
was one of the best honses in Dou.ulas county at that time. 













n ISTC. f( 

llowia.^' ;l 1 

e;ivy rain st 

ohiirds storo 

riiis seeue was direi'tly in front of 


newspapers. The city government is up-to-date and energetic and the city 
owns its- own electric Hght and waterworks plant and the general attractive- 
ness of the main business street is enhanced by a half mile of l)rilliant boule- 
vard lights. As the commercial center of the county, all lines of general 
business are well represented and some of its banks and commercial houses 
would do credit to a town of many times its population. 


In an earlier chapter relating to the early settlement of Douglas county, 
the historv of the beginning of things in Alexandria is set out at consid- 
erable length, as it was then, as now, the central point in the communit\- 
and its early history was practically identical with that of the county, all 
matters of interest in and to the county clustering about the county seat. In 
1865 the second store in the county was opened at Alexandria by Thomas 
F. Cowing, J. H. A^an Dyke still running his sutler's store, mentioned in 
the earlier chapter, at that time. Mr. Cowing had just completed a term of 
service in the army and he erected a little log building and opened up a 
small stock of general merchandise, later building a larger store room and 
extending his stock, remaining in business for many years thereafter. His 
father, Thomas Cowing, had come to Douglas county in 1861, settling on 
a farm near the present site of Holmes City, and when the Indian out- 
break occurred left with his family, but when the soldiers established the 
stockade at Alexandria he returned and shortly afterward erected a log 
house in which for some time he conducted a hotel, later engaging in the 
mercantile business. In 1866 William E. Hicks, a New Yorker, whose activi- 
ties in promoting the development of Alexandria are mentioned more at 
length elsewhere in this volume, started the third store, building a log store 
building which he stocked with a line of general merchandise. In that same 
\-ear Hicks Iwught the townsite, which meantime had concentrated in the 
hands of two or three persons, one of whom was Judge Gregory, who had 
expended monev and labor and had encountered hardships in behalf of Alex- 
andria. Almost immediately afterward Hicks, in connection with Thomas 
Cowing, erected a saw-mill on Long Lake and in the following year began 
the' erection of the Alexandria flouring mill, completed in 1869 and a few 
years later sold to G. G. S. Campbell. Hicks also erected a hotel, the Wood- 
hull House, and in the fall of 1868 started the Alexandria Post, the first 
newspaper in Douglas county. In the same year he was elected to the Legis- 
lature and continued to take an active interest in the work of developing the 


new town until his death in 1874. His widow is still Hving in Alexandria, 
occupying the building at the corner of Sixth avenue and H street, erected 
by her husband back in the old days. 

In the meantime other lines of business gradually were being developed 
in the new settlement and there presently came to be quite a village at the 
site of the old Kinkaid settlement at the junction of the two pretty lakes, 
Agnes and Winona. In the chapter relating to newspapers there is set out, 
in a review of the history of the Post, a list of the merchants doing business 
at Alexandria when the Post was established and it will not be necessary 
to repeat the same here. One of the causes of the considerable impetus 
given to business and the rapid growth of population in the new settlement 
was the establishment in the winter of 1868-69 of a government land office 
at Alexandria. It was in February, 1869. that. the land office was opened, 
with Lewis Lewiston, of St. Cloud, as register, and J. H. Van Dyke, of 
Alexandria, as receiver. The office at farst was located in the building which 
then was being used as a court house. In June, 1869, Lewiston was suc- 
ceeded as register bv L. K. Aaker, then of Goodhue county, and in the 
winter of 1874 Warren Adley became receiver, Soren Listo, of Brecken- 
ridge, succeeding Aaker as register the following spring, and in the follow- 
ing winter the office was moved to Fergus Falls, but by that time almost 
all the tillable land in this region had been taken. It is undoubted that 
the land office was a great factor in the development of Douglas county and 
gave an impetus to trade and every branch of business at Alexandria, which 
thus was the headquarters for a very wide territory throughout the North- 
west, settlers driving there to mill even from the Red River settlement and 
Rush Lake, distances of more than one hundred miles, and for several years 
during the early seventies the town was constantly full of people, hotels 
crowded and all places where accommodations could be furnished, either for 
man or beast, taxed to their utmost. In the fall of 1878 the railroad reached 
Alexandria and the day on which the first train rolled into the town, the 
5th of November it was, was made a gala day in the village, which ever since 
has been gradually developing into its present substantial state. 


Bv an act of the Legislature approved February 20, 1877. the following 
described territory in the county of Douglas, state of Minnesota, to-wit: 
Lots 5 and 6 in section 18, the north half of section 19, the north half of 
the southwest quarter, the north half of the southeast quarter and the north 


half of the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 19, all in 
ownship 1^8 of range T^y, "be and the same is hereby set apart, constituted 
and incorporated as the village of Alexandria. * * * ^nd the inhabit- 
ants of said territory shall form and constitute a municipal corporation and 
shall ha\-e the powers possessed by municipal corporations at common law," 
etc., and James H. Van Dyke, Lewis I. Brown and Fred von Baumbach 
were appointed to call and give notice of the first election in said village. 

Pursuant to legal notice dated March 5, 1877, and signed by the above 
named persons, the legal voters of the village of Alexandria met at the court 
house on March 12 of that same year, at nine o'clock a. m., the meeting 
being called to order by J. H. Van Dyke, and on motion L. I. Brown and 
Thomas Cowing were elected judges and Theodore Bordson, clerk of elec- 
tion and the election by ballots proceeded with the following result: Presi- 
dent, F. B. Van Hoesen ; trustees, John Sundblad, Charles Schultz and John 
Kron; recorder, Fred von Baumbach; treasurer, John B. Cowing; justice of 
the peace, A. J. Ames, and constable, Frank Reynolds. 

The first meeting of the village council was held on I\Iarch 17, 1877, and 
the recorder was instructed to obtain from St. Paul books for the use of 
the treasurer and recorder and all blanks needed. At the meeting on April 
3, ordinances were adopted relating to licenses and relating to police regu- 
lations, racing of horses and fast driving. At the next meeting ordinances 
were adopted relating to health and to cattle running at large and Frank 
Reynolds was appointed pound master. At the meeting on April 18 an ordi- 
nace was adopted relating to the incumbering of certain streets and a commit- 
tee was appointed to see that chimneys, stove pipes and fire-places were kept 
in safe condition, and Chester Van Dyke was elected street commissioner. 
At the meeting on May i, John Abercrombie was employed to survey the 
chief streets of the village for the purix)se of establishing a grade. On May 
15 the council approved the bonds of five applicants for liquor license and 
on June 8 James Walker was appointed village constable to fill a vacancy 
created by the resignation of Frank Reynolds, whose bill for services had 
been scaled fnim $33.10 to $20.60 at the previous meeting of the council. 
At that same meeting, "it having been reported to the council that the drug 
stores were in the practice of retailing liquor without license, a motion was 
adopted appointing Charles Schultz a committee to consult with Knute Nel- 
son about bringing action against said stores for selling liquor," and the 
minute of the next meeting, June 10, noted that "the president and recorder 
were requested to notify Mess. Sims & Nelson, druggists, that the\- must 
take out a license for selling liquors;" and thus the new village began to 


exercise its authority and to get under headway as a governing body. On 
December 15 of that first year of the village organization the resignation 
of Fred von Baumbach, recorder, was accepted and George H. Roe was 
appointed to fill the unexpired term. 

On January i, 1878, the second village election was held, with the fol- 
lowing result : President, F. B. Van Hoesen ; trustees, L. K. Aaker, George 
A. Freundenreich and G. C. Sims ; recorder, W. F. Ball ; -treasurer, J. B. 
Cowing; justice of the peace, H. H. Wilson; constable^ James Walker. At 
the meeting of the council on January 10, following, the bonds of Charles 
Volk, B. A. Li\-ingston, Aberle & Aberle and \'an Dyke & Larson, as liquor 
dealers, were approved, the license fee at that time being noted at seventy- 
five dollars. On March 7 a special election was held for the purpose of 
electing a justice of the peace to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation 
of A. J. Ames, and H. Shippey was elected. 

The next annual election was held on January 7, 1879, with the following 
result: President, F. B. Van Hoesen; trustees, John N. Herder, H. H. Wil- 
son and T. F. Cowing; recorder, George W. Robards, treasurer, Theodore 
Bordson; justice of the peace, Hiram Shippey; constable, James Walker. 

1880 — President, Thomas Cowing; trustees, C. F. Canfield, Frank 
RcAUolds and M. J. Norde ; recorder, James Purdon ; treasurer, Ole Narver- 

1881 — President, F. B. Van Hoesen; trustees, James Walker, Charles 
Robards and John Sundblad; recorder, N. J. Trenham; treasurer, George 
C. Sims; constable, Len West. In March of that year the Legislature granted 
to the village a new charter and on March 15 an election was held under 
the charter, with the following result : President, F. B. Van Hoesen ; coun- 
cilmen, C. T. Robards, for one year ; C. W. Cofield, for two years, and John 
Sundblad, for three years; recorder, N. J. Trenham; treasurer, George C. 
Sims; assessor, James Fitzgerald; marshal, Len West; justices of the peace, 
William McAboy and James Fitzgerald. 

1882 — President, F. B. Van Hoesen; councilman, John Kron; recorder, 
N. |. Trenham; treasurer, G. C. Sims; assessor, James Fitzgerald; marshal, 
John Knapton. 'Tn favor of restraining horses, etc.," 43 Votes; against the 
same, 150. 

1883 — President, H. H. Wilson; recorder, N. J. Trenham; treasurer, 
G. C. Sims; councilman, N. P. Ward; assessor, W. H. Sanders; marshal, 
Charles Culcross. 

1884 — President, F. B. Van Hoesen; recorder, N. J. Trenham; treas- 




on (lra\yin,Et of the cabin erected by 

) settle at Alexandria, wbicli was nai 

Alexander Kinkaid. 

Kinkaid brothers 
in honor of 





PTnS ==■ — ' — ^ — * 


-'^^.tJ '^ 

!^<^-k " ,. -- ^„_-_ 

—=- . -^^'^^HSsipH 

<^r--. ... 



Mr. KiiitM- \vc:iriii:; .■inrou. 


urer, G. C. Sims; councihiKin, P. Arnott; assessor, James Fitzgerald; marshal, 
John JNIetcalf. 

1885 — President, H. H. Wilson; recorder, George H. Brundage; treas- 
urer, George C. Sims ; councilmen, John Kyed and G. A. Kortsch ; marshal, 
John Metcalf ; assessor, J. H. \'an D}'ke. 

1886 — President, H. H. Wilson; recorder, George H. Brundage; 
treasurer, S. M. Thompson; councilman, John Sundblad ; marshal, John 
Knapton ; assessor, J. H. \'an Dyke. Favoring liquor license, 221, votes ; 
against, 86. 

1887 — President, X. L. Page; councilman, Theodore Johnson; recorder. 
F. A. Reimer; treasurer, G. C. Sims; assessor, J. H. Van Dyke; justices 
of the peace, J. H. Van Dyke and F. G. Stevens; marshal, A. W. DeFrate. 

1888 — President, N. L. Page; councilman, Fred von Baumbach; 
recorder, A. G. Sexton; treasurer, S. M. Thompson; assessor, J. H. Van 
Dyke; marshal, A. W. DeFrate. ^ 

1889 — President, James Walker; councilman, J. H. Letson; recorder, 
A. G. Sexton; treasurer, S. M. Thompson; assessor, J. H. Van Dyke; jus- 
tices, J. H. Van Dyke and George L. Treat; marshal, C. W. Cofield. A 
proposition to bond the village for the construction of a waterworks plant 
was carried and a similar proposition to bond the village for the con- 
struction of a sewer system was rejected. Waterworks bonds to the amount 
of eighteen thousand dollars were issued in that same spring. In December 
of that year a committee was appointed to consider the advisability of pur- 
chasing from J. B. Hardebeck the electric light plant, which had been oper- 
ated as a private enterprise, and the same presently was taken over by the 
village for the sum of eight thousand five hundred dollars and has since 
been operated as a municipal plant, in connection with the waterworks 

1890 — President, X. P. Ward; councilman, Ruljert INIcCrory; recorder, 
A. G. Se.xton; treasurer, S. M. Thompson; assessor, J. H. Van Dyke; jus- 
tice, W. E. Chidester; marshal, C. Hanson. 

1891 — President, X. P. Ward; councilman, Fred von Baumbach; 
recorder, X. W. Hicks; treasurer, S. M. Thompson; assessor, S. M. Thomp- 
son ; justice, F. G. Stevens ; marshal, Frank Reynolds. 

1892 — President, James Walker; councilman, Richard Dent; recorder, 
X. W. Hicks; assessor, James S. Chapman; treasurer, S. M. Thompson; 
justice, James F"itzgerald ; marshal, Chester Van D\ke. • 

1893 — President, James Walker; councilman, \\'illiam AlcCrorv; 
( 20) . . 


recorder, James Fitzgerald; treasurer, S. M. Thompson; assessor, James S. 
Chapman ; justice, W. B. Mitson ; marshal, C. B. Van Dyke. W' hole number 
of votes cast, 349. 

1894 — President, R. McCrory; councilman. Fred von Baumbach; 
recorder, James Fitzgerald; treasurer, G. G. S. Campbell; justice, J. A. 
McKay; marshal, Peter BoHn; assessor, J. A. McKay; street commissioner, 

A. E. Shippey. For license, 282; against, 167. Whole number of votes 
cast, 479. 

1895 — President, R. McCrory; councilman, Robert Walkter ; recorder, 
James Fitzgerald; treasurer, S. M. Thompson; marshal, J. S. Lampman, jus- 
tice, W. B. Mitson; assessor, George Whitcomb; street commissioner. C. B. 
Van Dyke. License, yes, 251; no, 193. 

1896 — President, O. J. Robards; councilmen, R. J. iMcXeil and W. K. 
Barnes; recorder, James Fitzgerald; treasurer, S. Al. Thompson; assessor, 
G. F. Whitcomb; marshal, J. S. Lampman; justice, A. A. Brown: street 
commissioner, C. B. Van Dyke. License, yes, 266; no, 274. 

1897 — President, N. P. V\^ard ; councilmen, J. F. Hiebel and M. 
Kraemer; recorder, James Walker; treasurer, W. F. Sundblad; marshal, C. 

B. Van Dyke; justice, W. B. Mitson; assessor, WiUiam Van Dyke; street 
commissioner, G. R. Morse. License, yes. 259; no. 255. 

1898 — President, N. P. Ward: councilman, T. R. Aiton ; recorder, 
James Walker; treasurer, William F. Sundblad: justice, Joseph Gilpin; 
assessor, William Van Dyke; marshal, C. H. Klein; street commissioner, 
Nick Menkes. 

1899 — President, X. P. Ward; councilman M. Kraemer; treasurer, W. 
F. Sundblad, recorder, James Walker: justice, W.. B. Mitson; marshal. F. 
E. Franklin; assessor, James H. Wettleson ; street commissioner, Nick 

1900 — President, N. P. Ward; councilman, C. Aberle; treasurer, W. F. 
Sundblad ; recorder, James Walker ; justice, Joseph Gilpin ; assessor, William 
Van Dyke; marshal, L. S. Kent; street commis,sioner, A. E. Shippey. 
License, yes, 307; no. 241. 

1901 — President, George G. S. Campbell: councilmen, John Anderson 
and H. T. Halvorson; treasurer, Joseph F. Heibel ; recorder, W. F. Sund- 
blad: justices, W. B. Mitson and J. A. McKay; assessor, William A'an Dyke; 
marshall, C. Fiskness ; street commissioner, Nick Henkes. 

1902 — President-, G. G. S. Campbell; councilman, Herman Nootnagel: 
recorder, W. F. Sundblad: treasurer, Joseph F. Heibel; assessor, William 
Van Dyke; street commissioner, Nick Henkes; marshal, Christ Fiskness. 


1903 — President, X. P. Ward; councilman, Michael Kraemer ; recorder, 
W. B. ]Matson; treasurer, L. S. Atwood; justice, F. E. UUman ; marshal, 
Christ Fiskness. 

1904 — President, John Anderson; councilmen, William Moses and J. 
A. Prodger; recorder, W. B. Mitson. 

1905 — President, John Anderson; councilman, AI. D. Freshenburg; 
recorder, L. C. Atwood; treasurer, Charles J. O'Brien. 

- 1906 — President, Toleff Jacohson ; recorder. W. B. Mitson; treasurer, 
C. J. O'Brien. 

1907 — President, Toleff Jacohson; recorder, W. B. Alitson ; treasurer, 
C. J. O'Brien; justices, F. E. Ullman and William \'an Dyke. 

1908 — President, Andrew Jacohson; recorder, W. B. Mitson; treasurer, 
C. J. O'Brien; marshal, J. R. Cowing; street commissioner, C. J. Hollrjuist. 
In the meantime the city charter having been adopted, the next election was 
held under that charter. 

1909 — Mayor, Gustav A. Kortsch; treasurer, C. J. O'Brien; justices, 
\Mlliam \'an Dyke and Joseph Gilpin; aldermen, ]\Iatt Habener, P. O. 
Unumb, J. A. Prodger, H. S. Campbell and W. E. Xesbett. License, yes, 
365 ; no, 275. Recorder Mitson acted as clerk of the council until that 
body presently appointed C. J. Sundblad to the position of city clerk, which 
position he ever since has held. 

1910 — Mayor, John J. Anderson; treasurer, Xels Erickson; aldermen. 
Matt Haberer, P. O. Unumb and H. S. Campbell. 

191 1 — Mayor, Michael Kraemer; treasurer, Xels Erickson; aldermen. 
Robert Peacock. W. W. Sheldon; justices. Joseph Gilpin and William \'an 

1912 — Mayor, Alfred A. Secord ; treasurer, Xels Erickson; aldermen. 
Matt Haberer, P. O. Unumb and H. S. Campbell License, yes, 328; no, 
374. Total number of ballots cast, 735 

1913 — Mayor, Louis Ginther; treasurer, Xels Erickson; justice, William 
\'an Dyke; aldermen, J. F. Anderson and W. \\'. Shekkm. License, for. 
373 ; against, 291. 

1914 — Mayor, Louis Ginther; treasurer, Xels Erickson; aldermen. 
Matt Haberer and H S. Campbell. Total number of votes, 636. License, 
for, 347; against, 287. 

1915 — Mayor, Louis Ginther; treasurer, Xels Erickson; justice, E. F. 
Xelson; aldermen, J. F. Anderson and W. W. Sheldon. License, for, ^^y. 
against. 305. May 31. 1915, Douglas county voted "dry" and the .Alexan- 
dria saloons were closed in six months. 


1916 — Mayor, Dr. C. C. Strang; treasurer, Nels Erickson; aldermen, 
C. \'. Anderson, P. O. Unumb and T. H. Weatherhead. Total vote cast, 
621. The present city council consists of C. V. Anderson, P. O. Unumb, 
J. F. Anderson, T. H. Weatherhead and W. VV. Sheldon, representing the 
five wards in the city, respectively. The city clerk is C. J. Sundblad and the 
city attornc}' is Constant Larson. C. A. Johnson is superintendent of the 
board of public works and the commissioners of the same are Louis Ginther, 
N. P. Ward and Dr. E. E. Buell, C. J. Sundblad being secretary of the board. 
The chief of the effective volunteer fire department is L. S. Kent and the 
chief of police is Jerry Callaghan. Nicholas Hankes is street commissioner, 
also under appointment by the council, and the city health officer is Dr. 
L. W. Saterlee. The city hall, a substantial two-story brick structure, 
erected in 1882, affords headquarters for the city clerk, the police and 
fire departments and a well-equipped public rest room. The city jail adjoins 
the city hall on the south and the waterworks reservoir occupies premises 
adjoining. The city schools, a history of which is set out in the chapter relat- 
ing to education, are admirably maintained and a Carnegie library, situated 
across the street from the new high-school building, is an excellent adjunct 
to the same. 


The first postoffice in Douglas county was established at Alexandria 
very shortly after the beginning of the settlement there in 1858 and it is 
the recollection of Mrs. Fanny Van Dyke that her father, Charles Cook, 
was the first person there to be put in charge of the mails, which were 
carried between St. Cloud and Ft. Abercrombie by the mail carrier, Evans, 
after whom the village of Evansville later came to be named. Upon Cook's 
return East the charge of the little local mail was taken over by Alexan- 
dria Kinkaid and was distributed to the settlers from his cabin until J. 
H. \'an Dyke started his store at the settlement, when the "office" was 
moved to that center of congregation and \'an Dyke presently was 
appointed postmaster, continuing to hold his commissi<)n until his resig- 
nation in 1866, at which time Robert Wyman, who was running a hotel in 
the stockade abandoned by the soldiers in that year, was appointed and he 
was succeeded in turn by T. F. Cowing, N. B. Patterson, Charles T. Sims, 
1874; Sophus N. Miller, 1876; Lorenzo G. Sims, 1880; Sophus N. Miller, 
1883; Dr. Godfrey Vivien, 1887, and he by' J. H. Van Dyke, who was suc- 
ceeded bv his widow, Mrs. Fanny \^an Dyke, who served for three 
terms, she being succeeded by Charles S. Mitchell, who served for one 


term, being succeeded by H. K. White, who died in office and was suc- 
ceeded by his deputy, Robert K. Brough, present incumbent, who has held 
the office continuously since in December, 1908. Following an ample appro- 
priation by Congress, the present handsome postoffice building was erected 
at a cost of about sixty thousand dollars, one of the most substantial build- 
ings in a town the size of Alexandria in the state, and was opened for 
business on February 22, 191 1. 


Alexandria has a well-organized Commercial Club and its commercial 
and industrial interests are represented by the following concerns : 

Alexandria Auto Company, garage and machine shop; Alexandria Citi- 
ccn, J. A. Kinney, proprietor, newspaper and job printing; Alexandria Con- 
fectionery Company, candy manufacturers, ice cream, and restaurant; Alex- 
andria Boat Works, E. G. Erickson, proprietor, manufacturers of boats; 
Alexandria Hardware and Lumber Company, J. A. \Vedum, president, 
hardware, lumber, farm machinery, coal, bicycles, paints and oils; Alexan- 
dria Electric Supply Company, motorcycles and electrical supplies; Alexan- 
dria Milling Company, E. G. Olson, president, flour and feed grinding; Ales- 
aiidria Post-News, E. E. McCrea, proprietor, newspaper and job printing; 
x\merican Laundry, Lackey and Olson, proprietors, general and family laun- 
dry; Alexandria .Soda- Water W^orks, Michael Kraemer, proprietor, soft- 
drinks bottling works; Alexandria Telephone Company, C. H. Raiter, presi- 
dent, local and long-distance service; Alexandria Potato Warehouse Asso- 
ciation, buyers and shippers of jxitatoes; Atlantic Elevator Company, grain 
and coal; Anderson Furniture Company, Carl X. Anderson, proprietor, fur- 
niture, undertaking, carpets, rugs, pianos, sewing machines, bicycles, pic- 
ture framing and trunks; Anderson, John F., cement works and contractor; 
Aiton & Anderson, plastering contractors: Aiton, Thomas R., contractor and 
brick layer; Alexandria Tire X'ulcanizing Company, Breese Brothers, pro- 

Baker Weedless Fish Hook Company, J. Griebler, F. W. Becker, manu- 
facturers of fishhooks; Blake's Hotel, C. J. Blake, proprietor, summer hi)tel; 
Boyd, Dr. L. M., physician, specialist in eye, ear. throat and nose: Bronis 
Cutlery Works, J. M. Broms, proprietor, factory and general repairs; Broms 
Tire Repair Co., Anton Broms, auto tires and repairs; Brown Brothers & 
Chapin, farm machinery, vehicles and automobiles; Buell, Dr. Eugene E., 
dentist; Birchard, Mrs. B. J., flower store; Brophy, G. S., second-hand store; 
Bjorklund, .\. W. T., plumbing and heating. 


Cable, John W., blacksmith shop; Campbell, George G. S., flour and 
feed store, and elevator; Carlson, John A., groceries and crockery: Central 
House, L. Michaelson, proprietor, hotel; Chase, Richard, dray line; Colbjorn- 
sen & Wegener, clothiers and tailors; Cole, Dr. C. L., dentist; Cowen, John 
S., real-estate dealer: Costello, Sherman, restaurant; Cowing-Robards Com- 
pany, hardware, agricultural implements, plumbing, heating and coal; City 
Flower Store, Mrs. ]\Iyra Pennar, proprietor; Cozy Theatre; Chidester, Buel, 
real estate and insurance : Central House, feed barn. 

- Dickinson Inn, Harry L. Dickinson, manager, summer hotel ; Douglas 
County Bank, G. A. Kortsch, president ; W. K. Barnes, cashier : Drum, 
Simon R., pianos. 

Eagle Clothing Company, The, C. A. Kolstad, president and manager; 
Edwards. W. C, veterinarian; Earl I. Best Lumber Company, lumlaer and 
fuel; European Hotel, William Heyer, proprietor; Eickmann. cigar manu- 

Falconer, Dr. Thomas, veterinarian; Farmers National Bank, Tollef 
Jacobson, president, Andrew Jacobson, cashier; First National Bank, C. J. 
Gunderson, president, P. O. Unumb, cashier; Franklin, F. E., real estate 
and insurance; Fredenburg, Moses D., machine shop; Fair Store, The, C. E. 
Mabee, proprietor, variety store. 

Gamble-Robinson Company, H. N. Doyle, manager, wholesale fruits 
and groceries; Goodwin, Albert G., real estate broker; Great Northern 
Express Company, W. L. Lawson, agent; Gregersen, A. H. and Company, 
dry goods and groceries; Grieljenow, Herman H., groceries: Gunderson & 
Leach, Claus J. Gunderson, Hugh E. Leach, lawyers; Gilbertson, A., soft 
drinks and billiards. 

Hammar, IMrs. ^larv, restaurant; Hanson, Dean, harness; Halverson 
Furniture Company, furniture, undertaking, rugs, wall paper, picture fram- 
ing: Hanson, J. R., furs and electric wiring; Haskell, Dr. A. D., physician 
and surgeon; Herberger-Wettleson Company, dry goods; Herbert, F. O., 
groceries; Herbert, Cyril, billiard hall; Hoglund, J. L., jeweler; Holverson, 
Henry T., druggist and optician; Howard Theatre, C. P. Hanke, proprietor; 
Hande and Tonsager, laarber shop; Hopson, A., barber shop. 

Johnson, P. A., photographic studio; Johnson, Charles A., granite monu- 
ments and tombstones; Johnson, E. W., tailor and cleaner. 

Keene, Dr. L. M., physician and surgeon; Kent's Bus and Transfer, 
L. S. Kent, proprietor: Kitzke, Miss Clara A., millinery: Knapton Sisters, 
millinery; Koyle, Kittle, millinery. 

Larson, Constant, lawyer: Letson House, Louis Ginther, proprietor. 


1 jj -• 




iiiiiif«iii|iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiriiii 1 


i IH^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^i 

Hiiiiiii""""' "■■:i:i::i 




- —4 








hotel: Levin, Albert, barber shop; Loo Land Company, real estate; Ludke- 
Luckert Company, wholesale groceries; Lindquist, Albert V., photographic 
studio; Lundberg, Levine A., restaurant. 

McKav, J. A., real estate; McCabe. Dr. John A., osteopath; iSLinhat- 
tan Oil Company. W. V. Abercromliie. agent: Motor Inn Garage Company, 
garage. automo1>ile dealers and auto repair shop; Moore, John L.. restau- 
rant; Minnesota House Feed Barn. William Hagan, proprietor. 

National Contracting Company, J. A. Shulind, president, general con- 
tracting; North American Storage Company, F. R. Noonan, manager, cold 
storage and creamery, dealers in Initter and eggs. 

Olson, Frank C, plumliing and heating; Oppel, C. and Company (C. 
and F. C. Opel, H. Paulson), shoes. 

Purdon, Andrew, wagon-maker: Pederson, photos: Pennar, Alex., con- 
tractor; People's Store (Ferdinand F. and Carrie Wellin), dry goods and 
millinery: Peterson Brothers, garage and auto machine shop; Peterson, C. 
O., drugs, books and stationery; Peterson, P. M. & Company, painters and 
decorators; Prescott, W. L., real estate: Prescott. Dr. Laurel, dentist; Prod- 
ger, J. A. auto livery; Park Region Echo, Carl Wold, proprietor, newspaper 
and job printing; Paulus, William, contractor. 

Quality Bakery and Lunch Rooms. 

Radecop, Fred C, blacksmith shop; Raiter Brothers, shoes and rub- 
bers; Raiter, Fred C, meat market; Renner, J. AL, plumbing, heating and 
general repairs; Rul. Wegener Brewing Company, H. Birkhofer, president; 
Ruud, Dr. M. B., physician and surgeon. 

St. Anthony and Dakota Elevator Company, Ft. S. Campbell, agent, 
elevator: St. Paul Bakery, Joseph Leuthner, proprietor, commercial bak- 
ing; Satterlee. Dr. L. W.. homeopathic physician: Satter, Andrew, livery 
and feed stable ; Seeger. Andrew, pop corn, fruit, tobacco ; Sheldon Clothing 
Company, clothing and gentlemen's furnishers; Shepard, D. B., contractor; 
Shoppey's Bowling Alleys: Secord. Alfred A., real estate; Standard Oil 
Company, H. A. Schroeder, agent; Stevens, F. M., auto and horse livery; 
Strandberg, C. A., wood dealer; Strang, Dr. C. C, dentist: Strieker, Frank 
W., painter and decorator: Swenson's dray and ice line; Syvrud & Meyers, 
automobile dealers and auto livery; Syvrud & Hanson, real estate: Stoppel, 
Mrs. Max. millinery: Stoppel, Helmuth J., barber shop. 

Thompson, Albert, garage, auto supplies and repairs: Thornton. Ralph 
S.. law\-er: Treat, George L., lawyer and real estate: Thompson, Herman 
T., barber shop. 

Unumb. E. O., dry goods, clothing and groceries. 


Van Dyke, Lafayette, cigar manufactory; \>nne\vitz Brothers, meat 
market; \'olker, Dr. J. J., dentist. 

Walker, William, groceries; Ward, N. P., groceries and crockery; 
Weatherhead, T. H., dray and ice line; Weber, Barney, pool and billiard 
hall; Weeker, A. O., tailoring; Wittenburg, Dr. D. E., chiropractor; Western 
Express Company, O. F. Ehlers, agent; \Vestman, Wilhelm, photographic 
studio; Wagoner, Edward C, pianos. 

The Commercial Club of Alexandria was incorporated on ]\larch i8, 
1907, the names of the incorporators being A. H. Gregerson, G. A. Kortsch, 
Horatio Jenkins, Ezra E. McCrea, Fred C. Oppel, E. Eugene Buell, G. B. 
Ward, Constant Larson, H. T. Halvorson, H. A. LeRoy and O. Hen- 
nings and the following officers: President, A. H. Gregerson; first vice- 
president, G. A. Kortsch ; second vice-president, Horatio Jenkins ; corre- 
sponding and recording secretary, Ezra E. McCrea ; financial secretary, Fred 
C. Oppel; treasurer, E. Eugene Buell; executive committee, A. H. Greger- 
son. Ezra E. McCrea, G. B. Ward, Constant Larson, H. T. Halverson, H. 
A. LeRoy and O. W. Hennings. The present officers of the Commercial 
Club are as follows: President. J. H. Wettleson; first vice-president. Andrew 
Jacobson; second vice-president, H. S. Campbell; corresponding and record- 
ing secretary, George L. Treat; financial secretary, J. W. Knox, and treas- 
urer, G. A. Kortsch. There are also live commercial clubs at Osakis, Bran- 
don and Evansville, which look after the commercial interests of those towns 
and besides these there are numerous farmers clubs in the county, which 
have proved and are proving of large value in their respective rural com- 
munities. There are also a number of farmers' co-operative associations 
for conducting elevators, potato "warehouses, the shipping of live stock and 
other products of the farm, the buying of farm machinery and other bulky 
merchandise at wholesale, besides a number of very effective local creamery 


The fine public library at Alexandria had its beginning in a reading 
club started in the village days of that city as early as 1878, a small circu- 
lating library being established at that time. While Senator Nelson was 
serving in the state Senate he was instrumental in ha\ing enacted the pres- 
ent admirable public library law in Minnesota and under the provisions 
of that law there was organized the Alexandria Free Public Library, which 
has had a continuous and successful existence ever since. For a time after 
the village bought the building since used as a city hall, the books of the 


library association were lioused in the hall of that building, now used as 
a town hall, and during George G. S. Campbell's incumbency as president 
of the village he was alile to secure from Andrew Carnegie a donation 
Si ten thousand dollars for the erection of a Carnegie free public library in 
Alexandria. .\ choice lot across the street from the high-school property 
was obtained and the present handsome public library was erected, an addi- 
tional two thousand dollars later being secured from the old iron master 
to complete the same. There are about nine thousand volumes in the library 
and one thousand four hundred and eighty-nine cards were in circula- 
tion in the summer of 19 16, a fair index of the popularity of the library 
among the reading people of the city and vicinity. The present library 
board is composed of the following members: G. A. Kortsch, president; 
George G. S. Campbell, secretary: Constant Larson, H. A. LeRoy, U. P. 
Ward, E. E. McCrea, Airs. Anna \'olker, Knute Nelson and Mrs. W. F. 
Sundblad. Margaret A. McCord is the librarian and the city treasurer acts 
as treasurer of the board. Under the will of the late F. B. Van Hoesen 
the library board received a legacy of five thousand dollars, the income 
from which is to be applied ■ to library purposes forever and this, in addi- 
tion to the small tax levied for librar}- purposes maintains the librar\- in 
admirable fashion. 


Incorporated Towns and Villages. 

Very few counties in the state having the population claimed by Doug- 
las county can pride themselves of so many incorporated towns and villages. 
Geographically, they are apportioned with regularity, which fact goes to 
show that they were located to meet the demands and needs of the sur- 
rounding communities and not to appease the selfish ambitions of some 
ambitious person. Each tow^n and village has shown growth and prosperity 
and in each case has become a commercial center and trading point for the 
surrounding, community. 


In the eastern edge of the county on the Great X'orthern Railway, and on 
the shore of the most picturesque lake in JNIinnesota, is located Osakis, the 
second village in size and importance in the county. The history of the 
village is somewhat obscure but it is known that with the coming of the 
early settlers, a man by the name of Peter Botneau, a Canadian half-breed 
Indian, had a camp one mile east of where the village now stands. His 
camp was on the dividing line between the Sioux Indians, who inhabited 
the prairie, and the Chippewa Indians who lived in the timbered region. 
Therefore he called his place "Sakis," which meant a place of danger. \Mth 
the coming of some English settlers they added the prefix "O" and thus the 
village took on the name of Osakis. 

Early in the history of Douglas county, a few white settlers had gathered 
near Osakis Lake, attracted by the great beauty of the place, locating just over 
the line in Todd county, and one of them, John Potter, in 1859, made a 
claim where Osakis now stands. In 1859 the stages began running here on 
their way to Ft. Abercrombie, and this was one of the stations. When the 
Indian outbreak came in 1862 all the settlers abandoned their claims and 
left for safety, and many never returned. However, along in the latter 
part of the sixties, Daniel Stevenson, one of the pioneers of Minnesota, pur- 
chased the land and laid out a town. Among the first settlers were the 
Gordon boys who took up their residence on the bank of the lake. The first 
store in the \illage was erected by James Chambers in 1866 and he con- 


rilU.IC LIBl 



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^1^ '^^ 


iraii, „ ^ 




' y, \' 

_ m 




l-i-^* n^ ^ 



tinned to hand out merchandise and groceries for several years. The year 
of 1867 brought several newcomers to the village. In January of the 
same year Warren Adley, who for several years had been engaged in the 
hotel business, erected a commodious hotel, and around his establishment 
clustered several homes and buildings of a various nature. Henry Stone 
established a general store where the Brown implement store is tixlay. On 
May 25, 1867, Mr. Sanderson opened a tow mill and did an active business 
for some time. Among other early settlers not already mentioned were: 
Thomas Adams, J- C. Stone, Leon Faille, A. M. Giddeon, A. S. Worden, 
John McKinsey, W. H. Stevens, W. P. Long and \V. H. Crowe. A large 
majority of male settlers were single men. For instance, in the summer 
of 1886 there were ten young single men in the village and all lived in two 
small houses. There was not a girl eligible to marriage in manv miles. 
Finall}-, in the summer of 1868, Mrs. Tannehill moved into the village with 
five beautiful and charming daughters. At once there began a spirited 
and lively contest among the young men to win the hearts of these fair 
maidens. So persistent were the attentions of the young men that the con- 
test was not long drawn out and in a very few months ]\Irs. Tannehill 
was alone. 

The first fire in the village occurred in 1887 when the old railroad 
eating house, built in 1879, was burned to the ground; the second fire 
occurred on January 16, 1889, when the building belonging to George 
Frye and Adley's barn burned: the third fire was on May 18, 1890, but 
not a great loss was sustained. 

The first passenger train came through the village November i, 1878. 

The first wooden sidewalk was laid by William H. Crowe, as was also 
the first cement sidewalk in May, 1881. 

The village became an incorporated district on February 21, 18S1. with 
the following officers: President, W. P. Long: recorder, ^^'illiam H. 
Crowe : treasurer, J. B. Bird. At the present time Osakis has a village form 
of government with the following officers: Mayor, L. D. Bentlev; recorder, 
S. J. Lyons; treasurer, D. B. McCleery; Robert Metcalf, William Brown and 
William Baker; justices, W. B. Lyons and C. S. French: constables, R. H. 
Belknap and Mike Clifford. 

The business and professional interests of the village during the sum- 
mer of 1916 were in the hands of the following: Allen, H., contractor 
and builder; Anderson Bros. & Baker, hardware and implements: Anderson, 
Mrs. A. B., milliner; Austin, G. A., real estate. 

Belknap & Son, livery; Bentley, L. D., real estate; Berg, Carl, contrac- 


tor and luiilder; Bjorklund, Alexander, contractor and Ijuilder; Bjorklund, 
John, shoe shop; Borschert, F. H.. attorney; Brown Bros. Implement Com- 
pany, farm implements and automobiles; Bryant. G. L., veterinary; Buck, 
Charles, stone mason. 

Caughren, H. J., department store; Christensen, Peter, ditch and tiling 
contractor; Cagley, Roy, restaurant; Christensen, C. 'SI., ditch and tiling 
contractor; City Hotel, \\.. S. Garner; Cobb, R. E. & Company, branch pro- 
duce dealer; Cowen, L. C. summer resort. 

Davis, Henry, power saw rig. 

Earle, M. A., contractor and builder; Electric light plant. S. ]\I. Lowery, 
manager; Empress Theatre, E. H. Voss; Engells. P. A., blacksmith and 
wagon shop; Erwin, S. E., harness and shoe shop; Evenson, O. C, con- 
tractor and builder. 

Fairhaven summer resort, C. H. Comport, proprietor; Faille. A. 'SI., 
carpenter and builder: Fearing & Conley. li\-ery and feed stable; Fezler, 

F. H.. auctioneer; First National Bank, Nels M. Evenson, president; Fisher, 
X. E., live stock shipper; Finneke, Andrew, contractor and builder: French, 
C. S., licensed embalmer; Flynn, Ray Auto Co., Ray Flynn, manager; Fry, 
\'erne, painter and decorator. 

Garber, Louis, proprietor People's Bargain Store; Gilkinson, Dr. A. 
J., phvsician and surgeon; Gingery, H. E., lumber, grain and coal; Gresty, 

G. \Y., real estate: Great Northern Railroad and Express Company, H. F. 
Greeley, agent. 

Harris Land Company, real estate; Harden, D. A., painter and deco- 
rator; Hagen, William, wagon shop; Hanson, Xels, contractor and builder; 
Harsh Bros., shippers of ice; Herberger-Cruse Company, department store; 
Hedberg, J. A., furniture and undertaking; Hengstler, Dr. \\'. H., physi- 
cian and .surgeon; Hicks & Robertson, sale and feed stable: Hotel Idle- 
wilde. summer resort. E. R. Ruggles, proprietor: Hause, C. W'., restaurant; 
Howe, B. E., auctioneer: Hawlett, John, painter and plasterer; Hyland, W. 
H., clothing; Ideal Cafe, A. S. Jackson; Ingersoll. H. A., pool and billiards. 

Tacobson, H. J., milkman; Jenkins, S. G., auctioneer; Johnson, W., 
boatman: Johnston, Chas., carpenter and builder; Johnson. L. J., milkman; 
Jorgenson, Peter, tailor. 

Kirk, William, street sprinkler: Kirk, Leslie, auto livery: Kulstad, 
Oscar, laundry; Kline Oil Company, Charles Kline, manager. 

Lakeside Ice Company, Lake House; Lamphear, G. E., general mer- 
chandise: LaMont, Lou E., milliner: Larson, Peter, blacksmith and wagon- 
shop: Lane, Ralph, dray line; Langston, William, auto repair shop; Lenz 







■iaii DMuish I,iithenni 


" U :3 




Summer Hotel, James .\. Xorris. proprietor: Long, Dr. C". M., physician 
and surgeon; Lyons, W. R., justice of peace; Ludwig, A. A., attorney. 

■ ]\Iadson, J- 'SI., insurance and notary public; Mann, Mrs. Lucy, dress- 
maker; Mix, Herman, carpenter and builder; McCleery, D. B., real estate; 
Mix & Sampson, dray line. 

North American Storage Co. ( branch ) , Geo. Buck, manager. 

Osakis Creamery Compan}-. 

Osakis Commercial Club, C. H. Bronson, president; Osakis Milling 
Co., H. E. Gingery, president; Osakis Meat Market, B. C. Blakeslee; Osakis 
State Bank, F. H. Borschelt, president; Osakis Telephone Company, F. B. 
Cannada, proprietor; Osakis Rcviezv, C. H. Bronson, proprietor; Osakis 
public school, E. N. Hamilton, superintendent; Osakis Roller Mill, H. W. 
Smith; 01son"s \'ariety Store, A. Olson; Olson, R. A., photographer. 

Park Region Hospital, Drs. Gilkinson and Hengstler; Palmatier, H., 
barber; Palmer, H., auctioneer; Palmatier & Earle, barbers; Penfield, Mrs. 
dressmaker; Phelps. Warren, contractor and builder; Postoffice, F. H. 
Borchert, postmaster. S. L. Lyons, assistant; Poncelet, Michael, plasterer. 

Ouinn, Frank, real estate and insurance. 

Rellar, Frank, well driller; Riis, Laura, dressmaker; Ruggles, E. R., 

Shinners. \\'. E., real estate; Skuey, J. J. & Co., general store; Smith, C. 
J\L, barber; Smith, H. W., feed mill; Spaulding, H. H., restaurant; Stev- 
ens, G. T., real estate; Steintl, V., blacksmith and wagonshop; Stewart, R. E., 
dentist; Stratemeyer, E. H., shoe shop; Swore, Knute, general store; Stand- 
ard Oil Co. ( branch ) ; Sutliff. Pearl, dressmaker. 

Thornburn & Larson, dentists; Thoma, G. AL, bakery; Thompson & 
Son, live stock shippers; Togstad Bros., jewelery and opticians. 

Von Retter, P. J., tailor. 

Wigal, Marv, milliner : W'oodard Hospital. Mrs. A. A. Woodard ; With- 
ers, H. W., pool and billiards. 

Yates, ^V. A., lumber and coal: Yates & Nelson, automobile repair shop. 
Zimmerson, J. P.. stone mason. 

A conservative estimate of Osakis' population would be one thousand 
four hundred people, which numl)er is increased during the summer months 
by tourists who visit the summer resorts for rest and recreation. Beautifully 
situated on the shore of the most picturesciue lake in Minnesota, Osakis is 
favored in the beauty and scope of its natural surroundings. 

Osakis is an enterprising city of modern conveniences for comfort 
and advancement, including one of the best high schools in the central part 


of the state, churches, fraternal and civic societies, a well-equipped volun- 
teer fire department, an active commercial club, excellent rural route facili- 
ties, electric and power service, local, long distance and rural telephone 
service, water-works, sewerage, miles of cement walks, and in fact all 
improvements that go to make up a modern, progressive and up-to-date 
city. The majority of the business blocks are of brick thus giving the town 
a substantial and metropolitan appearance. A school building has just been 
completed at a cost of seventy thousand dollars and is a model of its kind. 
As a market town Osakis is pre-eminent among the cities and villages 
in this section of the state. A large merchant flour-mill, a roller feed-mill, 
two grain elevators, two potato warehouses, creamery, and a market for 
straw, baled hay, eggs, poultry, vegetables are provided to furnish an outlet 
for everything the farmer produces. 


The village owns its own water system which furnishes adequate fire 
protection and provides water service for many families. A water tower 
and tank provide immediate pressure in case of fire until the pump at the 
pumping station may be put into operation. 

The village has day and night electric service furnished by the Osakis 
Milling Company and the service is equal to the best found in the larger 

The Osakis Telephone Company has an extensive s}'stem with over two 
hundred subscribers and connecting with eleven farmer's lines. 


Among the most successful manufacturing institutions of the county 
is the four-hundred-barrel merchant flour mill erected at a cost of fifty 
thousand dollars. The famous "O-sa-kis" brand is a household word not 
only through this part of Minnesota but in neighboring states. In connec- 
tion with the mill the company has an elevator of thirty-thousand-bushel 
capacity and equipped with all the latest machinen,'. A spur track provides 
adequate and economical facilities. The company grinds nearly one-half 
million bushels of wheat annually, operating day and night and giving 
employment to about twenty people. 

The Osakis Co-operative Creamery is owned and managed by farm- 
ers. The company was incorporated in 1897 and has enjo\ed prosperity 


ever since. In 1914 a new building- was erected at a cost of six tivnisand 
dollars. The plant is equipped with all the modern machinery and the 
products command a premium in the New York market. The report of 
the output for the year of 191 5 is not at hand- but for 1914 the amount of 
butter turned out amounted to three hundred and thirty-eight thousand one 
hundred and forty-five pounds. At the present time the creamery has over 
three hundred patrons. 

Among other manufacturing industries is a roller feed mill, eciuipped 
with an electric motor for power purposes, so that the farmer can have 
his feed ground while he waits. 

A tile and cement factory has been in operation for the last few }-ears 
and has enjoyed success and prosperity. In September, 191 5, the com- 
pany moved into a larger and more convenient building erected by the com- 

The \illage has a planing and moulding mill and several iron and 
wood-work shops that give employment to several people, 


The religious and social life of the village is all that could be desired. 
There are four churches, including the Caiholic with Rev. Fatlier A^'essen- 
dorf as pastor; the Danish Lutheran, Rev. P. C. Paulsen, pastor: the 
[Methodist, Rev. Edward Kaneen, pastor : the Presbvterian, the pastor to 
be supplied. 

Many fraternal organizations are represented, most of them maintain- 
ing lodge-rooms. Among the number represented are the following : Masons, 
Eastern Star, Improved Order of Odd Fellows, Woodmen of America, 
Ancient Order of United Workmen, Degree of Honor, Knights of Macca- 
bees and Danish Brotherhood. 


Osakis has a wide-awake commercial club of seventy members. The 
club maintains nicely furnished rooms in the Caughren block with reading 
tables, writing desks, billiard and card room and all modern conveniences, 
including janitor service. The present officers include the following well- 
known business men: President, C. H. Bronson: vice-president, E. X. 
Hamilton: secretary, E. R. Ruggles: treasurer, G. R. Lee; executive com- 
mittee, Nels Evenson, George Herberger, H. E. Gingery, F. H. Bnrchert 
and D. W. Henstler. 



While the early records were burned in a fire that destroyed the Osakis 
l)0stcffice se\eral years ago, it is kn.own tliat tlie Osakis postotifice was 
estabhshed 'in 1865, and the first postmaster was Donald Stevenson, the 
earliest pioneer and townsite proprietor. Air. Stevenson was succeeded as 
postmaster in 1867 by J. B. Johnson, who fur many years kept the postoffice 
in his store building. Short!}- after the railroad reached Osakis in 1878. 
Rasmus Flore was made postmaster. Mr. Flore was succeeded by John H. 
Rock who held the office a numlser of years and under whose incumbency 
the office reached the presidential class. Air. Rock was a Republican and 
when Cleveland became President was succeeded by Frank J. Herberger, 
a prominent young merchant of the village. Upon the return of a Repub- 
lican administration Mr. Herberger was succeeded by Gilbert Sargent, who 
died after holding the office five years, and was succeeded by his son, Harry 
C. Sargent, who was postmaster for four years, and was one of the young- 
est postmasters in the state holding a presidential postoffice. Harry Sargent 
gave way to Clement H. Bronson, editor of the Osakis Rcz'ieiv, who was 
appointed to the office in February, 1907, by President Roosevelt and was 
re-appointed by President Taft in 191 1. Air. Bronson served until June i. 
1915, when a change of administration resulted in the naming by Presi- 
dent Wilson of the present postmaster, Frank H. Borchert, president of the 
Osakis State Bank. The present efficient assistant postmaster, S. J. Lyons, 
has had active charge of the work of the office since Mr. Bronson was 
appointed postmaster in 1907, and Aliss Bertha Larson has held the posi- 
tion as clerk for a number of years. 

Rural route service out of Osakis was established in 1902 during the 
administration of Postmaster Gilbert Sargent. David W. Allen was the 
first rural carrier appointed and is still in the service. At the present time 
there are five rural routes out of Osakis, the carriers in every instance being 
the ones originally appointed to the routes, as follows: Route i, D. \\'. 
Allen; route 2, S. M. Donaldson: route 3, John J. Hanson: route 4, I. I. 
McSevany; route 5, E. J. Lee. 


In 191 5 the Osakis school district constructed a new and modern build- 
in'g at a cost of seventy-five thousand dollars. The building contains the 
eight grades besides the high school and its various departments. The new 




building gives added facilities for all industrial departments, a teachers' 
training course and a public library. The domestic science and manual 
training departments are each supplied with a suite of three rooms com- 
pletely equipped. The agricultural department is also supplied with a suite 
of rooms leading to which is an inclined entrance, thus permitting live stock 
to be taken into the class room for study. 

The teachers' training course fits students of the senior year to teach 
in the rural school. Only a small number are permitted to enroll in this 
department for the reason that the character of the work does not permit 
a larger number to accomplish the desired results. According to Superin- 
tendent Hamilton's report, the enrollment for the past year was three hun- 
dred and' eighty, of which numljer the high school contributed about one 


Situated in the park region and on a beautiful lake, Osakis is especially 
favored with attractive building spots. A large majority of the homes are 
modern and especially is this true of the beautiful dwellings erected in recent 
years. They are surrounded by large and well-kept lawns and trees. The 
greater part of the citizens own their homes and take pride in their upkeep. 

The village owns a lake shore park covered with native timber and is 
kept as a public picnic and playground. The park is about two and a half 
acres in extent and provides an ideal shady spot for all out-door and public 


Eyansville is located in the northwest corner of the county, surrounded 
by the very best of farming land, with black loam and clay subsoil, many 
groves of timber, and is within a short distance of many sparkling lakes. 
The old St. Cloud and Ft. Abercrombie stage road, twenty miles north 
of Alexandria, passed along the south edge of one of the most handsome 
groves that adorn the wide area of the park region. This road was opened 
in 1859, and stages were running during that year. A man named Evans 
was the first carrier, and as this point was made a stage station, he here 
put up a little shanty, in the locality, and afterwards the village took his 
name. In i860, a man named Rogers settled there and kept the station unt-l 


the Indian outbreak. Settlers commenced to gather in and a number of 
claims were taken, but when the outbreak came, the whole country was 
deserted and very few ever came back. Peabody & Kyde built a store 
and sold the first goods ever offered in this market. In the fall of 1865, 
L. E. Thompson selected and occupied a homestead on the banks of Lake 
Fanny, and was the first settler in the town after the outbreak. He built 
a cabin in the beautiful grove and passed the winter alone, being joined 
by his family the following spring. The next year M. C. Plummer, W. H. 
Saunders, Messrs. Youngroth, Delheim, Peterson, and others, with their 
families located here. The site of the old stage station, faultless in its 
picturesque beauty, overlooking the wide sweep of the prairie land, groves, 
and shining lakes which extended away southward, so captivated Jacob 
Shaner, that in 1872 he laid out a townsite, and in course of a few years 
a number of dwellings and business houses nestled in the edge of the grove. 
But Mr. Shaner neglected to record his plats, and the first real townsite 
of Evansville was laid out by Lorentz Johnson, in the fall of 1879, covering 
between fifteen and twenty acres. Later Gustaf Willius, of St. Paul, laid 
out about the same number of acres as a new village by the name of East 
Evansville, often called "New Town" or "Lower Town." The first cars 
reached Evansville late in the fall of 1879, and since that time the village 
has shown a steady and gradual growth. The village has a splendid loca- 
tion, and will always be one of the best points in the county as a trading 
center. A thickly populated and prosperous farming country is tributary to 
it, and as the railroad makes it a good shipping point, it is bound to always 
be a growing, busy place. 

Evansville was incorporated in 1881 by Chapter 13 of the Special Laws 
of Minnesota for the year 1881, and the charter was amended by Chap- 
ter 23 of the Special Laws for the year 1883. 

In the way of improvements the \illage has installed a complete water- 
works system and in 1897 constructed a substantial town hall. A new school 
building is under consideration which will add much grace and dignity to the 

The village is well supplied with church and fraternal organizations. 
The churches represented are the Swedish Lutheran with Rev. S. W. Swen- 
son as pastor; the Swedish Mission, Rev. Engstrom, pastor; Swedish Bap- 
tist, pastor to be supplied: Norwegian Lutheran, Rev. T. A. Sattre, pastor; 
Presbyterian, Rev. Hubber, pastor. 

The fraternal organizations are represented by the Masons, Modern 
Woodmen of America, and the Royal Neighbors. 


The business and professional interests of the village during the sum- 
mer of 19 16 were in the hands of the following: 

Auto garage, N. J. Lindstrom, manager; Banks, Evansville State Bank, 
Farmers' State Bank; barber, E. L. Anderson; blacksmith shop, L. J. Klein 
and Martin Nelson; creamery, J. J. Micklish ; clothing, Nick Swartz; 
dentist, Dr. W. R. Porter; dray line, L. A. Larson, P. J. Johnson; druggist, 
C. C. Cowden; elevators, Anderson Grain Company, Inter- State, J. H. 
Harris; general dealers, L. A. Schwartz, H. E. Alstead, V. M. Reif, M. 
O. Dahe; grocery store, Carl Borgrud; hardware dealer, Evansville Hard- 
ware and Lumber Company, G. L. Bristol & Company; hotel. The Commer- 
cial, J. Johnson, proprietor; jeweler, L J. Jacobson, livery and feed stable, 
Ole Homme; milliners, Hilma Johnson, Mrs. V. M. Reif; merchant tailor, 
Evansville Tailoring Company; meat markets, Nils P. Johnson, Charles 
Peterson, newspaper, The Evatisznlle Enterprise, W. H. Bronson, proprie- 
tor; physician, Dr. H. O. Ruud, Dr. P. G. Cowing; photographer, H. A. 
Pries; restaurant, Aug. Carlson, A. F. Lane; furniture, C. S. Peterson; room- 
ing houses, Olof Dollheim, Herman Rogers; shoe and harness shop, Chris 

The present elective officers of the village are as follow: President, 
H. A. Pries; recorder, L J. Jacobson; treasurer, O. J. Wallen; trustees, A. 
B. Anderson, Chris Nelson and H. G. Urie; constables, John Johanson and 
Ole Homme; justices, H. E. Alstead and V. M. Reif. A conservative esti- 
mate of the population would be about five hundred. 

Years ago the old St. Cloud and Ft. Abercrombie stage and mail 
line passed two miles north of this point, and a station was established on 
the wood-crowned hill that marks the spot. Henry Gager was the first 
settler in this locality, which was then called Chippewa. A hotel was opened, 
later a general store and postoffice were established, and the usual industries 
of a frontier village grouped about the place. In August, 1879, when the 
railroad graded through the town of Chippewa, Engineer Sewall laid out 
the town-site of the village of Brandon of today, two miles south of the 
conspicuous old village on the hill. The proprietress of the site was Mary 
Griffin, whose business manager was J. W. Griffin, of Minneapolis. Martin 
Stowe immediately commenced the erection of a large store and residence on 
the then open prairie of the new village. Halvor Engemoen of Holmes 
City, a man of means and enterprise, also built a large store and residence. 


Soon afterward Emil Larson built a hotel; Philsbury & Hulbert and David 
Dows & Compan}' erected grain houses, and the railroad compan}' put up a 
neat and pleasant depot building. Other business interests followed rapidly. 
A glance at the business interests of the present day is sufficient to satisfy 
one of its growth and prosperity. The business and professional interests 
are as follow : 

Beraud, \"ictor, barber; Brandon Cement and Tile Factory; Brandon 
Cemetery Association, Wigo Werner, secretary; Brandon Co-operative 
Creamery Association, Emil Bergh, secretary; Brandon Farmers' Grain 
Company, Ole Holpin, manager; Brandon Farmers" and Merchants' Union 
Elevator Company, J. Lorsung, manager; Brandon Forum, W. J. B. Moses, 
editor ; Brandon Grain Company, S. Dickinson, president ; Brandon Hotel, 
William F. Meissner, proprietor; Brandon Meat Market, O. O. Talaat; 
Brandon Lumber Company, C. J. Rosengren; Brandon Potato Company, O. 
F. Olson, president; Brandon State Bank, T. Jacobson, president; Burke, A. 
B., insurance agent; Dickinson, S., express and telegraph agent; Farmers 
State Bank, P. O. L^numb. president; Farmers and Merchants Co-operative 
Telephone Company; Haber, A. G., flour; Halgren & Christenson, general 
merchants; Hoplin & Berg, hardware; Kronberg, Nels, farm implements; 
Larson, P. A., garage; Lahn, August, livery; Leonard Olund & Co., general 
merchandise; Meckstroth, Dr. C. W., physician and surgeon; Melby, John, 
painter; Moe & Urness Township Mutual Fire Insurance Co., A. H. Strom, 
secretary; Olson Hardware and Implement Company; Olson, T. F., insur- 
ance agent; Pehan, Casper, confectionery: Ringdoll, C. A., drugs; Seidlinger, 
P. J., harness; Swinger, L. H., blacksmith; Tamble, Jacob, furniture: Teigen, 
B. T., general merchandise; Videen, G. R., restaurant. 

The village became incorporated by a bill passed by the state Legisla- 
ture and signed by the governor on November 22, 1881. About nine years 
after incorporation a town hall was built which has since been a public meet- 
ing place and headquarters for the fire department. 

Brandon has excellent graded schools doing two years' high school 
work. The teachers for the coming year are : Principal, Morris E. Hawley : 
grammar grades, Jennie Beckman: intermediate, Clara Nelson; primary. 
Esther Erickson. The average enrollment is alx>ut ninety. The school 
board is composed of : Emil Bergh, president : Dr. C. ^^'. ^leckstroth, secre- 
tary; Wigo Werner, treasurer. 

The present village officers include the following: President, B. T. 
Teigen-; recorder, \\'igo Werner; treasurer, A. Burkel, trustees. Math Xel- 


son, W. J. B. :\Ioses and John Hammergren ; justice; A. Burkel ; constable, 
August Lehn. 

The religious life of the village is supplied by four congregations, they 
being the Catholic, Norwegian Free Lutheran, Norwegian Svnod Lutheran, 
and a Norwegian congregation. 

It is a recognized fact that Brandon ships more grain than any other 
station in the county. The village has a live commercial club composed of 
farmers and merchants. There are six fine lakes within fifteen minutes' 
drive of town, and the town is surrounded by fine farms. 


This is an inland \'illage, located in the northern part of the township 
I.earing the same name. It was one of the first settled points in the county, 
Air. Holmes, after whom the town was named, Noah Grant and W. S. San- 
ford having settled here in the summer of 1858. The village today has a 
good grade for an inland town. A directory of the present business is as 
follows : 

Backehn, J. J-. shoemaker; Bergstrom, John, blacksmith; Hanson Bros., 
general merchandise; Bjelm, P. M., flour mill; Holmes City Co-operative 
Creamery Association; Johnson, Albert, tailor; Johnson, J. M., carding mill; 
Malm, S. J., jeweler; Wagemus, S. O., postmaster; Wolf, Oscar, blacksmith. 

Two religious denominations have congregations here, namely, the 
Swedish Lutheran, and Swedish Baptist. This village it not incorporated. 

Data is not in hand to show who were the ^•erv first settlers in this 
village or just when it began its existence, but facts go to prove that the date 
must have l^een in the latter part of the seventies. A man by the name of 
Star was the first merchant and was also the first postmaster. The postoffice 
at that time was known as Dent. Star served as ix)stmaster seven or eight 
months and on May 12, 1881, he was succeeded by the present postmaster, 
Thomas Olson, who has seen continuous service ever since. The name of 
the postoffice was later changed to Nelson in honor of Senator Knute Nelson. 

In about 1890, S. J. Miller bought the land now comprising the site of 
Nelson and platted it into lots. The first lot was sold to John Silrose for 
fifty dollars, which was the average price. 

On August 31, 1903, the village was incorporated and the following 


officers elected: President, J. P. Larson; recorder, Olof Erickson; trustees, 
L. J. Hanson, Mat Berglund and S. J. Miller. The present (jfficers include 
the following: President, G. A. Fosgren; recorder, J. G. Myers; trustees, 
H. A. Iverson, J. F. Henry and Olof Erickson. 

Many lines of business are now carried on in- the village as will be 
noticed by giving attention to the present business directory which is as 
follows : 

Axito repairing, C. E. Iverson; builder and contractor, J. F. Henry; Bank 
of Nelson, George Stromlund, president; buyer of live stock, J. P. Larson; 
carpenter and contractor, T. A. Jensen; cement and lumber, N. O. Johnson; 
cit}' meat market, J. G. Myers; department store, Herberger-Cruse; depot 
Great Northern, W. O. Fadden; elevator, N. O. Johnson; tlour and feed, 
J. P. Larson ; hotel and restaurant, T. A. Jensen ; Nelson potato house ; pump 
supplies and repairs, Olof Erickson. 

The Nelson Telephone Company was organized in 1906 and was in- 
stalled by C. E. Iverson. The service has always been first-class, which is 
quite a tribute to the present operators, Mrs. C. E. Iverson and daughter. 

The village has a concert band of twenty-two pieces that would do 
credit to a town many times the size of Nelson. During the summer months 
weekly concerts are held in the band stand near the center of the village. 

There is only one church in the village and that is the Danish Baptist, 
the pastor being the Rev. P. C. Paulson. 

In the way of fraternal organizations there are two, the Knights of 
Maccabees, organized on April 13, 1901, and the Ladies of the Maccabees, 
organized on April 30, 1904. 

An object of great pride and admiration among many citizens is the 
Young Peoples Branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. This 
branch was organized in 191 1 by Mrs. Scovell, a state worker. In 1913, a 
b.uilding was erected by this organization at a cost of about eight hundred 
dollars. The building was dedicated by state workers and gained a great 
deal of notice from the fact that the building was about the only one of its 
kind in existence. The societies are also very few. The society already 
referred to maintains an organization holding regular meetings semi-monthly. 
Edna Larson is president of the organization and also state secretary of the 
state organization; Wallace Larson is vice-president; E. Youngner, secre- 
tary; Chris Hanson, treasurer. 

Nothing gi\es the inhabitants of the village and the surrounding com- 
munity more pride than to speak of their school. And rightfully too, because 
they have just completed a new brick building at a cost of about twenty 


thousand dollars. The building is modern from basement to attic and is a 
model of its kind. The village school has been consolidated with a school 
district in the countr\- and' thus made more satisfactory to all. Four teachers 
are employed and the enrollment averages about one hundred" and ten. Ralph 
Borman is the principal for the school year of 1916 and 191 7. 

The village was named in honor of James A. Garfield, President of the 
United States. Among the first settlers in and near the village were: T. 
Knutson, Oscar Dahlin, Fred Bartle, Claus Peterson, Mrs. M. Sanstead and Fenstad. The townsite plats for the village were filed by Andrew 
Sanstead, February 17, 1882. 

The village began its corporate existence on September 9, 1905. The 
following officers were elected: President, T. Knutson; treasurer, J. A. 
Nelson ; recorder, W. W. DunniclifT ; trustees, Ole Johnson, Joseph P. McCord 
and J. C. Peterson; justices. Gust Loo and K. P. Landru; constables, S. L. 
West and Fred Bartel. The present elective officers include the following : 
President, P. Christiansen; recorder, Theodore Walstad; trustees, Leonard 
Loren. Simon Jensen, Edward Sanstead; constable, Herman Zeigelman. 

Among the postmasters of the village have been the following: Swan 
D. Larson, who was probably the first; C. H. Larson, Andrew Gustavson, 
John Lundstrom, J. L. Larson, C. G. Bergsten, and the present postmaster, 
C. J. Johnson, who was appointed October 17, 1907. 

The business interests of the village during the summer of 19 16 were in 
the hands of the following men: 

Auto garage, Charles Johnson; bank. State Bank of Garfield; barber. 
Gust .\. Lund; blacksmith, John Youngberg; creamery, Farmers Creamery 
Association; elevator. Farmers Elevator; general dealers, A. Abrahams, L. 
Olund & Co., A. Bergsten & Son; hardware, Knutson & Son; harness, Fred 
Passenheim; hotel, August Buthner; livery, E. Peterson; lumber, Garfield 
Lumber Company, John Nelson, manager; meat market, Ketter Bros.; potato 
warehouse, Farmers, L. Loren. 

The German Lutheran church has a congregation in the village and is 
served by the Reverend Bartz. The village maintains no separate school dis- 
trict, but is very conveniently served by the district school just at the edge of 

The first potato warehouse in the county was built at Garfield in 191 1 by 
a farmers co-operative company, and was so much of a success that in 191 2 
a second one was built. 


The village of Melby, with a population of about seventy, is located in 
the northwest corner of the county and twenty-four miles from Alexandria. 
It was platted by A. G. and Sigrid Johnson in April, 1902. The village is 
surrounded by a fine agricultural community which is its main support. 
Although the village is small, yet the business interests are varied and almost 
any need can be accommodated. The business directory is given as follows : 

Bank, Melby State Bank; blacksmith, Ole Olson; creamery. Gust Wah- 
lin; elevator, Farmers Elevator Company, Johnson & Palmquist; furniture 
dealer. Constant Lundgren; feed mill, A. G. Johnson & Sons Co.; general 
dealer, O. M. Gilbertson & Co., Johnson Bros. ; harness shop, Swan Lind- 
strom; hardware dealer, H. N. Palmquist; implement dealer, P. M. Pear- 
son ; lumber dealer, Evansville Lumber Company ; potato warehouse, Farm.- 
ers ; restaurant, L. C. Calkin, Fritz Carlson ; shoe shop, N. A. Westman. 
This village is not incorporated. 

Forda is a small village located on the "Soo Line,"' about seven miles 
south of Alexander and with an estimated population of seventy-five. The 
village is the heart of an agricultural region and also where much fruit is 
grown. Thus, the village satisfies the need of a local market and doubtless 
will continue to grow as time advances. The village was platted by Cyrus 
A. Campbell in July, 1903, was incorporated on April 6. 1905. 

Following is a directory of the business interests : Affeldt, John, hard- 
ware; Beisek, Lewis, blacksmith; Chase, C, hotel; Farmers State Bank; 
Forada Co-operative Manufacturing and \A^arehouse Company ; Jenson, 
William, general merchandise and postmaster ; Northland Elevator Company ; 
Stevens, O. P., grocer; Turnland, Harry, express and telegraph agent. 

Miltona is a small village located in the township that bears its name. 
It is on the "Soo Line" and although not as large as some of the other 
villages in the county, is well equipped with elevator and stock shipping 
facilities. Sufficient business enterprises exist to satisfy all local needs. J. A. 
Hintzen conducts a general store ; Edward Jerome, a blacksmith shop ; P. G. 
Miller, a grain elevator ; the Sandbeck Lumber Company, a branch. ]\Iiltona 
is not incorporated. 



The town site of Alillerville was platted by Edward Schirber in June, 
1903. The village began its corporate existence June 29, 1903, after a 
hotly-contested election had been held to decide the question of incorporation. 
The liquor question was one of the main issues, as many of the citizens 
wanted saloons and incorporation was the only means to such an end. 

The village is located in the township that bears its name, and though 
inland, has an extensive local trade. The first house in Millerville was built 
by John A. Miller, second by Frank Weber, third by Peter Lorsung. The 
first store was built and operated by Mathias Kotschevar, Joseph .Stariha, 
the first hotel keeper, and Mathias Baden, the first blacksmith. 

The business interests during the year of 1916 were as follow: 

Bank, German American State Bank of Millerville; blacksmith, Jaciib 
Thoeness ; creamery, John Poppler, Jr. ; druggist, C. M. Klein ; fiour-mill, 
Fred G. Dobmeyer; general stores, J. Linster and A. J. Lorsung; hotel, 
Mathias Stariha; harness shop, P. B. Lorsung; meat market, J. P. Lorsung; 
physician. Dr. John C. Drexler ; machinery, Val. Thoenness & Sons. 

The town-site plats for the \-illage of Carlos were filed in the register of 
deeds office on August 12, 1903, by Cyrus A. Campbell. The village began 
its corporate existence on July 7, 1904. It is located on the "Soo Line" and 
about eight miles northeast of Alexandria. The estimated population is two 
hundred. The village has two Lutheran churches and a general business 
that is characteristic of towns of its size. 

Following is a director}- of the business interests: 

Auto garage, G. H. Gilbertson; bank. First State Bank; blacksmith, G. 
H. Gilbertson, J. Heskenhoff; liarber, Charles H. Holgrimson; creamery, 
Carlos Co-operative Creamery Company; elevator. Homestead Flevator 
Company, N. Steidl, agent; Woodworth Elevator Company, A. .\thman, 
agent; Farmers Society of Equity; general dealer, Albert Kohler, A. J. 
Ogren, Renter Bros. ; harness shop, Thomas Roach ; hardware dealer, August 
Kohlhaas ; implement dealer, Ehlert & Gilbertson ; livery, Casper Renter ; 
lumber dealer, C. O. Franzen & Co.; meat market, J. E. Taylor; physician, 
P. .\. Love; real estate dealer, J. B. Hove, Bundy Scott; restaurant, Charles 
Annis; telephone, Central Telephone Company. 



Kensington was platted by William D. AVashburn in March, 1887, and 
incorporated on June 6, 1891. It is located in the extreme southwestern 
corner of the county, on the "Soo Line" and nineteen miles from Glenwood. 
Kensington is situated on a rolling prairie whose land is unequalled in pro- 
ductiveness. A conservative estimate of the population at the present time 
would be about two hundred and sixty. In the way of religious and civic 
' rganizations the village has a Swedish Lutheran church and an active and 
wide awake commercial club. 

The' business directory for the year 1916 is as follows: 
x\uto garage, Colmark & Brandt; bank, First State Bank of Kensington; 
barber, Mark F. Chan; blacksmith shop. Axel W. Hallberg; creamery, Ken- 
sington Co-operative Creamery; druggist, John A. Wedum; elevators. Farm- 
ers Elevator Company, Andrew Holt, agent; Atlantic Elevator Company, 
P. G. Peterson, manager; furniture dealer, George S. Maxfield; Farmers 
M'arehouse Association, J. T. Rotto, president; general dealer, Abraham Des- 
nick, John Bisek; harness dealer, Ole Berglund; hardware dealer, Kensing- 
ton Hardware and Lumber Company; hotel, Kensington Hotel, Mrs. E. J. 
Colmark, proprietor ; implements, Harry Osterberg ; livery, Bjorklund Bros. ; 
lumber dealer, Kensington Hardware and Lumber Company; meat market, 
Frank Dahlin; physician. Dr. Otto L. Hanson; photographer, E. J. Col- 
mark; restaurant, George Hendricks, J. A. Bjerke; tile works, Kensington 
Tile Company, L. A. Larson, president. 

Sidelights on County History. 

As an interesting "sidelight" on the history of Alexandria and of Doug- 
las county, perhaps no event of recent years hereabout has been more signi- 
ficant or productive of greater interest in the days that have gone than the 
"home-coming week" celebrated by the people of Alexandria and of the 
county at large at the county seat in the last week of June, 1916, under the 
direction of the Commercial Club and of the home-coming committee. A 
series of interesting meetings were arranged for the affair and the event 
was marked by the return to the scenes of other days of many who had gone 
away from this favored community seeking fame and fortune elsewhere, 
but who still regard Douglas county as "home, sweet home." Meetings were 
held in the high school hall and music was furnished by the Alexandria 
band, on Saturday bands from Eagle Bend and Kensington also being present. 

The first meeting was held on Thursday' evening," Gustav A. Kortsch 
presiding. The Rev. Francis Welp delivered the invocation and Dr. C. C. 
Strang, mavor of Alexandria, made an address of welcome to the "back- 
homers," the response to the same being made by Theo. A. Erickson. Other 
speakers were A. M. Darling, O. H. Larson, Julian Fitzgerald, Walter Shot- 
well, W. E. Landeen and A. M. Wilton, all of whom spoke in a reminiscent 
strain of other days. On Friday morning a reunion of former pupils of the 
Alexandria schools was held, the program being carried out by memljers of 
former classes, and a short historical review of the school dating back to 
1 861 was given, while talks fraught with interesting stories of past school 
days were made by A. T. Larson, Theo. A. Erickson. A. P. Nelson and W. 
E. Landeen. R. C. Bondurant presided and an alumni association was organ- 
ized with the following officers: President, A. T. Larson, of Alinneapolis ; 
vice-president, W. E. Landeen, of Elbow Lake; secretary. Alma Anderson, 
of .Alexandria ; treasurer, R. C. Bondurant. There were present at this 
alumni meeting five members of the class of 1878. The afternoon meeting 
on that day was presided over by H. A. LeRoy and a series of interesting 
letters from persons who had left this county in days past for farther fields 
was read bv George L. Treat, secretary of the home-coming committee. 


Reminiscent talks were made by M. N. Koll, of Cass Lake, and by James F. 
Dicken, pioneers of the county, and A. T. Larson also gave an interesting 
talk. At that meeting the address of the week was made by Adolph P. 
Xelson, of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, who paid a glowing tribute to Alexandria, 
"Ladv of the Lakes," and to the pioneers of Douglas count}-, among whom 
he mentioned the names of the Kinkaid brothers. Holmes, Grant, Hicks, San- 
ford, Gregory, Dicken, Darling, Blackwell, Van Dyke, Shotwell, Sims, Whit- 
comb, Kent, Lewis, Nord, Walker, Thorp Sprague, Freudenreich, Cowings, 
Van Hoesen, Baumbach, White, Robards, Moles, Canfield, Brown, Vivian, 
Aaker, Christie, Sundblad, Bondurant, Llawley, Fahlin, Kortsch, Gilpin, 
Burkel, Gunderson "and last, but not least," concluded the speaker, "that 
fplendid citizen of your midst who is known as the 'grand old man," not 
onlv of Minnesota, but also of the United States Senate. A man who has 
made his statesmanship and his influence of life so felt in the national gov- 
ernment that when he speaks, not onl\- America, but the world is glad to 
listen and to take counsel. I ha^-e reference to your peerless citizen, your 
great representative in the LTnited States Senate, Senator Knute Nelson." 
Among the earlier teachers in the schools, the speaker mentioned Mr. Gunder- 
son, Miss Gunderson (now Mrs. Van Hoesen), Miss Childs, Miss Thomp- 
son, Miss King, the Misses Wright, Miss Barnard (now Mrs. Robards), 
Miss Dudley, Miss Donaldson, Miss Lloyd and Prof. A. D. Gaines, "through 
whose genius and leadership the Alexandria high school attained a rank 
second ti) none in the state." 

The I'riday evening meeting was presided over b}' J. H. \\'ettleson, 
president of the Commercial Club, and with one exception the program was 
made up of five-minute talks by George F. ^^'hitcomb, N. P. \\'ard, A. M. 
Darling and R. C. Bondurant. The exception noted was a talk given by 
James F. Dicken, of La Grand, now past eighty-one years of age and one of 
the very first settlers of Douglas county, who gave for the entertainment and 
edification of his hearers a review of the history of Douglas county, he 
ha\'ing been a resident here since the very beginning of a social order in this 
section of the state. Mr. Dicken arrived in Douglas county in 1859 after 
having spent two or diree years in the vicinit}- of the present city of Hutch- 
in.'-on, this state, and he gave the dates of the cutting out of the Alexandria- 
Garfield and the Alexandria-Carlos roads, the names of the parties who did 
the work and of the occasion that demanded the construction of the roads. 
He gave also a brief history of the Indian uprising of 1862, of the excite- 
ment that followed and of the general exodus of the settlers from this region 
to [joints of safety at Sauk Center, St. Cloud and elsewhere during that time 


of trouble. On Saturda)- evening, closing the home-coming week, a recep- 
tion \va.s given by the ladies at the rooms of the Commercial Club and on 
Sunday evening a union service was held in the Congregational church, the 
Rev. F. S. Stein, of Lincoln, Xebraska, preaching on the subject of home 
inHuence. or the place of the home as a factor in civilization. As stated 
al)0\e, the delightful home-coming was arranged under the general direction 
of the Commercial Club of Alexandria, the general committee and chairmen 
of sub-committees being as follow: Chairman, G. A. Kortsch; secretary, 
George L. Treat; program, George L. Treat; publicity, John Griebler; 
finance, Andrew Jacobson ; reception, Constant Larson : entertainment. H. 
T. Holverson; decoration. W. T. Cowing; music, J- ^L Renner; parade, 
Lewis S. Kent ; membership, J- H. Wettleson. 


Among the many letters received by the secretary of the home-coming 
committee and read at the meeting, there were some so interesting, recalling 
scenes and incidents of other days so pleasantly, that it is regarded as a 
matter of value and interest to succeeding generations to quote a few extracts 
from the same in this connection. 

Senator Xelson wrote: "I am very glad, indeed, that you and the 
other friends have nio\-ed in this matter. It will be a great opportunity for 
the old settlers to meet and come together to talk over old times and the 
struggles and trials of frontier life. We have now ceased to be a frontier 
country, but nevertheless we are still so' young that many of the pioneers are 
still with us and bear the scars and marks of the intense struggle of pioneer 
life. Alexandria and Douglas county were fortunate in securing an ener- 
getic, industrious and thrifty class of people, who ha\e, by their efforts. 
succeeded in making Douglas county one of the garden spots of Minnesota. 
\Ve old settlers, who will in the near future pass away, can look back with 
pride on the great work that has been accomplished with the knowledge and 
assurance that our work will be taken up by the younger generation that will 
succeed us and that they will expand and enlarge upon the foundations that 
we laid. They will have strenuous work before them, but they will be sub- 
jected to less trials and tribulations and have more of the modern conveniences 
than we had; but we bespeak for them the same blessings of an All-W'ise 
Providence that N\e ha\e enjoyed in our day and generation." 

Major E. H. ^^■hitcomb, major and chief sanitary officer of the b'irst 
Brigade, Minnesota National Guard, and a son of Capt. George C. Whit- 


comb, \vho was commandant of the old Alexandria stockade when the latter 
was disbanded in 1866, writing from Camp Bobleter, where the Minnesota 
troops were being mobilized for border service, wrote: "Disappointment 
falls to the lot of most of us at one time or another, and it certainly has hit 
me this time. I felt that a duty was incumbent on me to be present at the 
home coming and have a vacation, but duty of a more serious character has 
called and I a:ii doing what. I can for my .country. I was mustered into the 
United States service yesterday (June zj, 1916). I am chief sanitary officer, 
with what other duties may arise. I would dearly enjoy the handclasp of 
friends of old who will be with you. As I sit here in my tent, in fancy I 
can look into eyes long closed on earth and hear familiar voices wafted on 
waves of tender recollection from across the Mystic Sea. These will not 
respond to your invitation, but they will be thought of and spoken of in 
tenderest terms and will occupy their fitting and essential place in the history 
of Alexandria.'' 

C. D. Baker, of Fergus Falls wrote: "I wanted a chance to tell what 
few old settlers there were left there and what I knew about them in an 
earlier day. I was goin^ to tell about our trip at the time that Knute Nelson, 
Baumbach, \^an Hoesen, Charles Schultz, John Cowing and about a dozen 
others went down east of town fishing; the time that Charles Schultz could 
not pull a tree up by the roots, and that Mr. Nelson and Baumbach had to 
sing songs for the party on their way home that night. I wanted to tell 
about ]\lr. Baumbach helping me to sell apple trees up in the Millerville 
country, when two of us rode in a two-wheeled road cart; I wanted to tell 
about Jim Dicken, the time when he was selling fire insurance, when 'for a 
moment' he forgot himself; and then there were a lot of the boys that I 
wanted to talk about, but I find most of them have gone to the 'happy hunt- 
ing grounds.' ■ As I figure it, there is only about one out of ten of the old- 
timers alive. . . . My heart is with you. and it seems as though I can 
see among the crowd that you have there, some of the old-timers that I knew 
forty years ago. There must be a few of them. left." 

;\Irs. Edward Gillette, of Santa Barbara, California, wrote: "And we 
are among the pioneers! My dear father, Richard Dent, wife and family of 
seven children, three sons and four daughters, arrived at Alexandria, Sep- 
tember 9. 1868, coming by team from LeSueur, Minnesota. It was indeed 
a frontier town of few inhabitants — looked very drear)' to us. never having 
liNed where we could not see railroad trains every day. Father went to work 
for Mr. ^^■illiam Hicks, in the grist-mill, as engineer. We lived in a log 


house owned by Mr. Shotwell, near Lake Geneva, until a log house could be 
built on our farm on Lake Victoria. We moved on October 28 and it was 
not half finished; no chinking in cracks and without windows — hung up 
blankets to keep out the cold, but we were all well and happy. The few 
people seemed like one large family. . . . D. W. Colby and family 
were among the early settlers, also Cal. Roland and James Rusk. All were 
there ahead of our family. Mrs. Van Hoesen and her brother, C. J. Gunder- 
son were there at Robert Smith's, who had a farm near the Shotwells, on 
Lake Geneva. Three youngest children of our family were born in Alexan- 
dria: Mrs. H. A. Plahte, of Spokane, Washington; Mrs. M. H. Terryll, of 
Faribault, and Dr. Frank E. Dent, of Sequim, Washington. Dear mother 
passed away at Spokane, May 10, 191 1 ; father, May 19, 1915. Brother James 
Dent, who was in the railway mail service office for twenty years in St. Paul, 
passed away June 2;^, 1909. He was chief clerk at that time and was loved 
by all who knew him. Brother Richard is a member of the big real-estate 
firm of Arthur D. Jones & Company, of Spokane, Washington, and is vice- 
president of the company." 

William G. -Scott,. «f Winnipeg, wrote : . "The receipt of your letter 
caused me to indulge in some 'reminisencing' and recall the fact that it is 
fifty years this present month of June since my father and my eldest brother 
— the latter now a resident of the state of Washington — first arrived in 
Douglas county and located on homesteads in the township of Hudson. The 
other members of the family, including the writer, followed in October of 
the same year (T866). The journey from Toronto occupied seventeen days 
and was made by steamboat to Milwaukee, railway to LaCrosse, steamboat 
to St. Paul, railway to St. Cloud and 'prairie schooners' to Hudson. At 
that time' there were no large centers of population west of Milwaukee, the 
present flourishing cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis being mere hamlets. 
It boasted an abandoned stockade, but few buildings. It had a tri-weekly 
mail service, carried by the Burbank four-horse stage coaches, which made 
regular trips between St. Cloud and Ft. Abercrombie, on the Red river. It 
was on the main highway to the various forts in northern Minnesota, the then 
territory of Dakota and what was then known as Ft. Gary, or the Red River 
Settlement. There were continually passing through it long lines of govern- 
ment wagons, each drawn by six mules, carrying supplies and munitions to 
the western forts. The commerce of what is now the three prairie provinces 
of Canada, served at the present time by three transcontinental lines of rail- 
way and numerous branches, was then carried along the same route in Red 
river carts, each drawn by one ox, their journey leading through northern 


IMinnesota and Dakota, then homeless plains, within whose borders civiliza- 
tion had not yet entered except in the vicinity of two or three forts." 

The Rev. J. Scott Willmarth, of Greenwood, Wisconsin, wrote : "Alex- 
andria ma\- well be proud of her citizens and of the products of her school. 
She always has a Treat to show her visitors. Some may come and some 
may go, but one is always Constant. She is renowned, not only for her fine 
houses, but also for her barns. In competing with other towns for recogni- 
tion she can rely on her Knox, and she can easily wrest first honors from 
all comers with her double Nelson." 

J. A. Cranston, superintendent of schools at Santa Ana, California, 
former superintendent of the schools at Alexandria, wrote expressing the 
hope, "in the not too distant future, to have the pleasure of seeing once more 
Alexandria, the crown city of northern Minnesota, and enjoy once more 
those beautiful lakes and drives for which Douglas county has become truly 

Col. B. L. Bull, of North Yakima, Washington, past commander of 
JNIeade Post No. 9, Department of Washington and Alaska, Grand Army of 
the Republic, in a letter to the committee recalled that "We lived there in 
1871 and slept in our prairie schooner near your beautiful city, but passed 
on to Ottertail county. We are inclined to think our mistake was in not 
driving our claim stake there in 1871." 

W. H. Sanders, who located man}' of the roads in this part of the state 
and was later for some years superintendent of schools of Douglas county, 
writing from Los Angeles, California, conveyed the following interesting 
bit of information: "I made my first trip to Douglas county in 1867. As I 
passed through Alexandria, I noted that the old stockade was about all there 
was of the town. There was a store within the stockade and a little later 
T. F. Cowing built one outside the structure. I went up to what is now the 
town of Evansville and took up a claim about five miles south of the present 
town, my nearest neighbor being about five miles south of my location. Later 
Mr. Plummer took a claim adjoining mine and then quite a number of set- 
tlers came into that section. All fled several times at the report that the 
Sioux Indians were coming, only to return after the scare was over. Only 
once did we realize that it was not a false alarm. A canoe with Indians came 
down the lake and paddled straight across for my home, but backed by Mr. 
Plummer we stood our ground, shooting over the heads of the Indians, which 
soon caused them to retreat. There were many stirring times, hardships, 
even sufferings, in those pioneer days, but the settlers realized even then the 
great possibilities of that glorious count}- and remainetl. In 1872 or 1873, 


when I moved to Alexandria, it was still a small town, among the early set- 
tlers I recall having been the Cowings, Van Dykes, Hicks, Mr. \"an Hoesen 
and many others."" 

J. \'. Roland, writing from Postoak, recalled to the attention of the 
committee that he could "date back as far as 1867, when I first arrived in 
Alexandria. I made my hume in Dt)Uglas county for ten years and experi- 
enced some very haril times. In the summer of 1868, during a high-water 
period, the country was out of flour and none could be obtained at any price. 
I was working for a Mr. Piatt, who lived on a farm on the south side of 
Lake Louise. At that time there was a company of United States soldiers 
camped for the night on the shore of the lake and after they had gone on 
their way I went down to the camp and found a box of hard-tack that had 
been left behind because of some mold on some of them. I hurried to the 
Piatt cabin and told of the find. Immediately the lady of the house, Mrs. 
Piatt, and luyself hurried to the place and gathered up the fragments; carried 
them to the home and Mrs. Piatt prepared a most luscious dinner.'" 

From Dyment, Ontario, Mrs. D. A. Larson wrote : "I shall ever remem- 
ber the pleasant circumstances which first brought me to Alexandria. I took 
up residence there in my bridal days — in October, 1868. Though being 
away for many years, yet my heart will always drift back where my cherished 
interest is — as my husband's resting place is in Kinkaid cemetery." 

From New Bed ford,. Massachusetts, the Rev. and Mrs. Anton A. Ander- 
son wrote: "Although it is many years since we lived in the heart of the 
park region of Douglas county, many sweet remembrances linger with us and 
we can truthfully say with the ancient Israelites: 'If we forget thee, O, 
Jerusalem (Alexandria), let our right hand forget! Let our tongue cleave 
to our palate, if we do not remember thee; if we prefer not Jerusalem (Alex- 
andria) above our chief joy.' Alexandria and its beautiful surroundings 
will always be the dearest sjxit to us." 

From Claremont, California, Mrs. Stella Stoneman JMoles wrote: "I 
doubt if many are back whose entrance to Alexandria antedates my own, 
for I went there first as a little girl in 1874, when Mr. Norton preached in 
the little old church down in the hollow. He, too, is gone, and his wife, and 
Annabel, with whom I played dolls and whom I loved almost as a sister in 
those days. In those days the railroad came no farther than Melrose, and I 
went the rest of the way with Mr.- David Masdn, who also has been laid to 
rest. He had taught his horse to be a home missionary horse, for I remem- 
ber how the horse stopped at everv bov, girl, man, woman and house that 



we came to, to ask if there was a Sunday school in the neighborhood, appar- 
ently as concerned as Mr. ]\Iason as to their religious opportunities. But it 
was when, as a young woman, I visited my sister at Sylvan Home and later, 
when I went as a bride to Alexandria, that I spent perhaps the happiest days 
of my life. I can see it all now, the woods and the lakes and the country 
roads. It was then that I learned what beautiful puff-balls could be made 
from thistles. It was there I picked wild strawberries and raspberries. It 
was there I saw my first ski and took my first toboggan slide. I have many 
happy memories and I remember lovingly the kindly people I knew both as a 
little girl and later as a woman grown." 

Writing from Urbana. Illinois, Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Mason sent "greet- 
ings to all our friends in the following lines from Browning: 

"Grow old along with me! 

The best is yet to be. 

The last of life, for which the first was made; 

Our times are in His hand 

Who saith, 'A whole life I planned.' 

Youth shows but half; trust God; see all, nor lie afraid." 

The Rev. George E. Soper wrote: "The prospect of hearing the address 
of Adolph, of seeing Lew Kent, in all his glory, leading the parade; of 
listening to all those speeches of early friends would be enough to draw me 
from a long distance; but when added to all this, there is the prospect of 
meeting many old friends and of reviving the friendships of earlier days, I 
find the desire to be there most enticing. It will no doubt be a glorious 
occasion and will do much to strengthen the chords of home joys, which after 
all is said, lie very near the sources of the truest happiness." 

From Tacoma Miss Bessie Kasson wrote: "Alexandria spelled home 
for so many years that we always think and speak of it in that sense, and 
assure you we have never forgotten the years we spent among you, or the 
Ijeauties of Alexandria and surrounding country, the many kindnesses of 
your citizens and the spirit of friendliness which made us feel at home 
among you. My father, who was eighty years old last January, looks no 
older than when leaving Alexandria and my mother has changed very little. 
I would like to suggest that you follow the example of our chivalrous west- 
ern men and grant your women the right of suffrage. It's a fine thing to 
feel that you are, indeed, a real citizen of the United States of America." 

Mrs. Delia Isom, of Lovell, Wyoming, wrote; "My father, Benjamin 
Stewart, lived near Garfield and the home now owned by Mrs. Robert 


Angus used to be my home when I first came to Douglas county forty-seven 
years ago. We lived mostly among the Indians, as my father often traded 
groceries for furs and meats, which were plentiful in those days. The 
Indians were not hostile then, yet when they used to gather in the house 
and sharpen their knives, the hearts of my sisters and mother seemed to 
stop beating as they used to watch me at play with my rag doll. They 
would laugh and talk to me in their own language and, of course, I was 
afraid they wanted my doll, not seeming to realize what mischief they might 
be planning. I also lived in Alexandria with my husband, George Dixon, 
and two small sons, who now are grown men in business in the city of 

Mary Elizabeth Whitcomb, of Minneapolis, wrote : "I would gladly 
do something to add to the pleasure of the occasion were it in my power, but 
I know there will be no lack of interesting things to fill the time, and I 
have perhaps done my share in recalling the old times, as in response to Mr. 
Bondurant's request before the dedication of the new high school building, 
I wrote an account of the early school days there, which is, I think, fairly 
accurate for the years which it covers." 

From Roseburg, Oregon, N. Bevier wrote: "I often think of the old 
frontier days, for I enjoyed them better than later days. There are lots of 
Pope and Douglas people here, following being the names of a few: Mr. 
and Mrs. P. Brooks, Mr. Hagan, Mr. and Mrs. Hall, Mr. and Mrs. H. Boyd, 
Mrs. Henri Boyd and son, Vern ; Mr. and Mrs. John Pennie and family and 
the three daughters of Mr. P. Pennie, besides whom there are quite a few 
Minnesota settlers, but not right from that part." 

From Hazel, Minnesota, Mr. and Mrs. George Prodger wrote : "Our 
kindest thoughts are always with the old neighbors of Douglas county, with 
whom we used to have such good times. It doesn't seem like home here, as 
it did there where we lived so many years." 

Mrs. Herbert M. Boyd wrote from Roseburg, Oregon: "Father Boyd 
moved with his family td Hudson township the 22nd of June. 1867, and I 
went to live with them, July 24, 1879, so even I ha\'e seen many changes. 
I well remember the first trip to Alexandria, September 4, 1879. The store 
of Moses & Wylie was considered quite a fine store, and I remember the L. J. 
Brown store, at one time where the Griebenow store has been for years, and 
then they were fine stores. I remember many changes in all the years of 
my sojourn in Hudson." 

John Templeton wrote his regrets from Forest Grove. Oregon, declaring 


that "nothing would give me more pleasure than to meet with all the old- 
time friends and talk over old times and renew our youth together." 

F. M. Nelson, of Minneapolis, wrote : "When I go back in my memory 
to the 13th of June, 1887, at 2:20 o'clock, when I got off the train as an 
immigrant, how little did I dream, when walking up Main street seeing the 
signs: L. K. Aaker, John Sundblad, Moles Brothers, Baumbach & Holver- 
son (or Monissev, as it was then), Spaulding, drugs, and Kortsch, Hardy & 
Heebel, with others, what Alexandria would mean t(_i me. Most of those 
signs are g(ine from the dear old Main street, but in my memory lingers those 
names of the pioneers, of which I have a fond recollection. Wherever I go 
I always think and speak of Alexandria as my home town." 

L. T. Mathison wrote his regrets from Rush Lake, Saskatchewan, 
declaring that "m\ heart is right there, where I spent my boyhood days." 

From Tacoma Caroline M. Sprague wrote: "Nothing would please me 
better than to make a visit to the old home town and I deeply regret not 
being able to do so. The longing to see the kinsfolk I have left behind, and 
the dear old friends, also makes my old heart ache." 

From Claremont, California, Samuel D. Moles wrote, recalling that 
"it is over twentx' vears since my wife and I left Alexandria to come to Cali- 
fornia ;" continuing, "It was in Douglas county that nearly one-half of my 
life was spent, and I often think of the beautiful country and clear lakes and 
business opportunities that your county affords." 

From Kingsburg, California, Mr. and Mrs. C. O. Jern wrote: "\Ye 
have always held the most ardent resi>ect and have today a warm place in 
our hearts for the old town of 'Alex.' Though we are not able to be present 
on this occasion, personally, we are with you in kindest memory at all times. 
Since our departure, vears ago. we have traveled to some extent, but have 
never found quite the same ideal conditions that exist there." 

Mrs. Kate McLellan Finkle, of Minneapolis, expressing her regret at 
her ina1iilit>- to be present at the home coming, wrote : "I would have enjoyed 
meeting the friends. Oh, the wonderful review that passes before the mind's 
eve! Alexandria deserves to have the best (if everything, as the former citi- 
zens were of such a lovely and interesting type and as I am sure the present 
ones are." 


It ma\- \ery properly be said that William Everett Hicks was the 
man who started Alexandria going and by doing so performed a service for 
Douglas countv that will keep his memory green in this section of Minnesota 


for generations to come. Though he died before he was forty years of age, 
he had shown a notable capacity for performance and his Hfe had been full 
of activity. A New Yorker, he came to this section of Minnesota in the 
fall of 1866 and was so deeply impressed by the beauty of this charming 
lake region that he decided to make his permanent home at Alexandria, 
where, during the next eight }'ears, or until his death in 1874, he took a very 
active part in local affairs, becoming the owner of the townsite and the pro- 
moter of various commercial and industrial enterprises, besides representing 
the district in the Legislature and establishing the first newspaper in this 
part of Minnesota. 

William E. Hicks was born at Sand Point, Long Island, in 1835, and 
was educated in the schools of Brooklyn. In 1853 he became a reporter on 
the Xc-a' York Tribune, Horace Greeley's paper, and in 1857 became financial 
editor of the New York Evening Post, holding that position until 1862, 
when failing health compelled his resignation. The next year he traveled 
extensively in Europe and returned in the following, year, going into business 
in Wall street. In the spring of 1866 Mr. Hicks came West on a genera! 
prospecting and pleasure trip and in the fall of that year came out here from 
St. Paul on a hunting trip. As noted above, he became so charmed with the 
scenic beauties of the park region hereabout that he decided to remain. He 
bought the Alexandria townsite, which up to that time had not been making 
very great headwav, and also began to develop timber lands in this section. 
In 1867 he built a log store building at Alexandria and stocked the same 
with a general stock of merchandise. He also erected a hotel building and 
built the two-story frame building which for some time thereafter was used 
as a court house, and on the second floor of which he conducted a newspaper, 
the Alexandria Post, which he established in 1868, the }ear in which he was 
elected to the Legislature from this district. Among i\Ir. Hicks's other enter- 
prises was a combined grist- and saw-mill, which became tlie leading indus- 
try in this section, attracting patronage for many miles in all directions and 
giving a real impetus to the development of this section, which before that 
time had been suft'ering for the lack of an adequate flour-riiill and for a 
saw-mill. Mr. Hicks donated from his townsite lands the square on which 
the Douglas county court house stands and also donated to the Congrega- 
tional church the fine corner lot on which that society erected its first church 
and on which the present handsome Congregational church stands. In other 
ways Mr. Hicks contrilnited to the cWk. commercial and industrial life of 
the growing communitv and remained active in all good works until his death 
at Alexandria on July 17, 1874. He left a widow and five children. One 


of his sons, Cleveland H. Hicks, for years has been private secretary to 
Senator Knute Xelson, whose home is in Alexandria, bnt whose official 
duties recjuire his presence in Washington much of the time. 

Alexandria's "grand old man." 

United States Senator Knute Nelson has been a resident of Douglas 
county since the year 1870, when he moved over here from Wisconsin, and 
has ever since been one of the most active factors in the life of the com- 
munity, as well as in the wider and more general life of the whole state. 
Senator Nelson is a native of the kingdom of Norway, born on February 2, 
1843, ^"d was but six years of age when he accompanied his parents to the 
United States in July, 1849, the family remaining in Chicago until the fall 
of the next year, 1850, when they removed to Wisconsin, where the future 
United States senator grew to manhood. During the Civil War Knute Nelson 
enlisted for service as a private in the Fourth Regiment, Wisconsin Volun^ 
teer Infantry, and was promoted to a non-commissioned office in the same. 
At Port Hudson, Louisiana, June 14, 1863, he was wounded and taken pris- 
oner. Upon the completion of his military service he returned to Wisconsin. 
took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar as a practicing attorney 
in the spring of 1867. He was elected to the Wisconsin state Legislature 
and served in the assembly during the years 1868-69, after which he sought 
a field farther west in which to enter upon the practice of his profession, 
and in 1870 came to Minnesota and located at Alexandria, which ever since 
has been his home. Mr. Nelson at once began to take a prominent part in 
the civic affairs of the new community in which he had located and it was 
not long until he was recognized as a potent factor in the same. He was 
appointed county attorney of Douglas county shortly after settling at Alexan- 
dria and served in that capacity until 1874. During the four years, 1875-78, 
he served this district in the upper house of the Minnesota General Assembly 
and Jn the campaign of 1880 was a presidential elector from this state. On 
February i, 1882, he was commissioned a member of the board of regents 
of the Minnesota State University, a position which he retained until Janu- 
ary I, 1893. Senator Nelson's larger public service began with his election 
as a member of the forty-eighth Congress from the fifth Minnesota district, 
and he was re-elected to the forty-ninth and fiftieth Congresses. In the fall 
of 1892 he was elected governor of Minnesota as the nominee of the Republi- 
can party in this state and was re-elected to that office in the fall of 1894, 
during which second incumbency, January 23, 1895. he was elected United 


States senator from Alinnesota and has ever since represented this state in 
the Senate, having been re-elected by the Legislature in 1901, 1907 and 1913- 
Senator Nelson has a delightful farm home situated on the outskirts of 
Alexandria and takes much pleasure in the same during his brief respites 
from public service. He also maintains his old law office in Alexandria, but 
gives httle attention to the practice of his profession, long having been prac- 
tically retired from active practice. 


Francis Bennett Van Hoesen, who died at his home in Alexandria on 
January -7 1907, not onlv was the first president of the village of Alexan- 
dria, but in manv other ways, during his residence of forty years in the 
county seat of Douglas county, contributed of his talents and energies to the 
general upbuilding of the community at large. Born in Onandaga county, 
New York, he was fifteen years of age when he came with his parents, in 
1854, to Minnesota, the family setthng at Hastings. He later returned to 
his native state, where he completed the academic course in the schools and 
then entered the law department of the Michigan State University, from 
which he was graduated in 1864, after which he for a time was engaged in 
practice in the law office of his uncle, at Harvard, Illinois, presently return- 
ing'to Minnesota, where he spent a year as bookkeeper in a bank at St. Cloud, 
after which in 1867. he moved over to the new and ambitious village of 
Alexandria, where he spent the rest of his life, one of the most active factors 
in the development of the town. Upon settling at Alexandria Mr. Van Hoesen 
opened a branch land office and in 1869 joined with his uncle, George Ward 
and Robert Smith in the establishment of the first bank in Alexandria, of 
which he was made cashier. When the bank was reorganized as the First 
National Bank in 1883 Mr. Van Hoesen was made president of the same 
and continued in that capacity continuously until his death. When the village 
of Alexandria was incorporated in 1877 Mr. Van Hoesen was elected first 
president of the same and bv subsequent elections served for more than hve 
vears in that capacitv. He previously had served the county in several 
capacities, countv attorney, clerk of court and register of deeds and later for 
some vears was a member of the board of health, while in 1872 he had been 
elected representative to the Legislature from this district and was re-elected 
in 1 88 1 and in 1883 was elected to the Senate. From the very beginning 
of his residence in Alexandria Mr. Van Hoesen took an active interest in 
the ';chools and was also a prime mover in the organization ot the library 


association. He was a charter member of the First Congregational church, 
organized in 1876, and was president of the board of trustees of the same at 
the time of his death. Among the legacies he left was one of one thousand 
dollars to the church, one of five thousand dollars to the library and one of 
three thousand dollars to the Kinkaid Cemetery Association. He was a 
charter member of Constellation Lodge No. 81, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons, at Alexandria, organized in 1870, and served for eleven terms as 
worshipful master of the lodge. 


The record of incorporations in the office of the register of deeds of 
Douglas county reveals that the first commercial association incorporated in 
the county was the Norden Commercial Association, whose articles of incor- 
poration were filed for record on August 16, 1871, Peter O. Chilstrom, Eoen 
Newman, Peter Newman, Peter Hanson, William Christensen, Bernhard C. 
Hanson, S. P. Christensen, Magnus Olson and Soren Listoe, of the city of 
MinneapoHs, incorporating under the above title to carry on a general trad- 
ing business at Herman, Grant county. 

The first cemetery association incorporated was the Orange Grove 
Cemetery Association, organized at a meeting held at the school house in 
district No. 7, in the township of Orange, March 24, 1873, Robert Thomas, 
chairman, and M. G. Pixley, secretary, the others signing the articles of in- 
corporation being J. S. English, Joseph Pixley, Robert Thomas, Jacob Man- 
ning, John Gray, George H. Robart, R. T. Bullard, M. G. Pixley, Gustav 
Klatt, Harmon Dumerl, O. Kator, John Mada and John Baker. 

The first farmers co-operative association to file incorporation papers 
was the Farmers Co-operative Company of Osakis, a general mercantile con- 
cern, organized on December 17, 1875, those signing the articles of incor- 
poration being James Chambers, A. C. Peterson, Mathew Easton, J. C. 
Stone, J. P. Simonson, Charles Handy and Andrew Bergsten. 

The first cornet band to file articles of incorporation was the Osakis 
Cornet Band, incorporated on May 3, 1886, the following persons signing 
the articles of incorporation: H. M. Chalfant, W. A. Yales, I. P. Schei, C. 
Nelson, Alex. Anderson, J. R. Gallinger, D. M. Farr, George L. Fry, Paul 
Herman and William Cressy. 



In as well ordered and quiet a neighborhood as this there naturally have 
been very few notable criminal cases to attract the attention of the court 
and a chapter devoted to crimes and misdemeanors in a work of this char- 
acter would be short indeed, but there is one case that for years provided a 
mystery for the people of Douglas count}- to talk over and which was not 
cleared for years after the commission of the crime. It was in the early 
days of the settlement of this region, back in the old stage-coach days, long 
before the coming of the railroad to this section, and the scene of the crime 
was at the old log inn and stage station at the stop which later became the 
thriving village of Evansville. Five Scandinavians, one of whom was named 
Paulson and who were not long from the old country, arrived at the inn one 
day and while renewing old acquaintances drank quite liberally of frontier 
whisky, served at the inn. a quarrel presently being started and some scuffling 
or wrestling, which was not altogether good natured in character, but which 
ended apparently without serious ill-feeling on the part of any and late in 
the evening the men started for the home of one of the party who lived near- 
by, where they expected to remain the rest of the night. On the shore of a 
small lake in the vicinity the quarrel w-as known to have been renewed. That 
evening was the last Paulson was seen alive and although the neighborhood 
was searched no trace of him could be found. The four men last seen in his 
company were arrested, but as there was no evidence against them they 
presently were released. Three Indians, skilled in the lore of the woods and 
of the lakes, were called in to assist in the search for the body, the theory 
of the community being that Paulson had been killed as an outcome of the 
quarrel and his body thrown into the lake, but the most careful search of the 
lake failed to reveal the body. In the meantime the county commissioners 
had offered a reward of five hundred dollars for the recovery of the body 
and not long thereafter, shortly after the Indians had made their ineffectual 
search, the wife of the landlord of the inn in which the initial quarrel between 
the Scandinavians had occurred, volunteered to find the body in the lake and 
pointing out a certain spot in the water told the searchers to look there, e\-en 
though the ground had been gone o\er carefully before. The boch- was 
found, even as she had declared it would be, and she collected the reward 
money. The four suspects again were arrested and the one with whom 
Paulson had quarrelled was placed on trial for his life, but there l^eing no 
direct evidence against him, he was ac(|uitted and all four were again set at 


liberty. Xot long afterward the landlord of the inn and his wife left the 
count}-, with the five hundred dollars that had been paid the wife, and went 
up into Canada, where they settled. On his deathbed the landlord cleared 
the mystery of the Paulson case, declaring that Paulson had returned to the 
inn about midnight of the night he had left with his four compatriots and 
had demanded more whisky. This the landlord refused and a quarrel ensued 
in which the landlord killed Paulson. He hid the body in a haystack until 
the night after the Indians had searched the lake, when, with the assistance 
of his wife, he carried the body to the lake and cast it in, it therefore having 
been an easy matter for the wife later to locate the body for the searching 
party and claim the reward that had been offered by the county. No suspicion 
was attached to them and after going to Canada they kept their secret well, 
until remorse compelled the deathbed divulgence of the same. 


During the agitation of the project for holding a "home-coming" week 
at Alexandria during the early summer of 1916, Mrs. Fannj- Van Dyke, 
widow of J. H. Van Dyke, the first merchant in Alexandria, who came to 
Douglas county with her parents, as a girl, in 1858, contributed the follow- 
ing bit of reminiscence to the Alexandria Post-Nczi's: "The first settlers 
were the Kinkaid brothers, Alexander and Will, who came here from Dela- 
ware. After Alexander our town was given its name. Then came the 
Joseph James family from Philadelphia. Their child was the first child born 
here and was named Winona Douglas, after our lake and county. After 
them our family (the Cook family) came in the year 1858. The house we 
lived in was built where the von Baumbach home now stands. It was made 
of peeled logs and was very comfortable, but coming from the busy city of 
London, as we did, it was a decided change. Aly father, who was a member 
of the Hudson Bay Company bought furs of the Indians, but spent much 
time fishing and hunting. Game of all kinds was very plentiful. With us 
came the Bedman family, Mr. Bedman being the first blacksmith here. 
Shortly after this came the N. F. Barnes family and Peter L. Gregory. Then 
the Darling family came and they were the first people who knew how to be 
good farmers, and everyone went to them for advice. About this time came 
also our good old friend. James Dicken, who was a trapper and who told 
extraordinary stories. Among the many was the following one : Jim wanted 
some shirts, and goods of the cheapest quality ])emg very expensive at that 
time, he bought only three yards. When he found this would make but one 


shirt, he said that he knew of a woman in Pennsylvania whcj could make 
two shirts out of three yards of material so long that they dangled on the 
ground and he could pull them up over his ears. He also knew how to make 
'stone soup.' which was ver)- rich and tasty. A little later on came the Shot- 
well and Canfield families in the year 1859. Also about this time came my 
husband, J. H. \'an D\-ke. The Cowdrys and Barrs made up some of the 
early settlers and after that the people began to come thick and fast. 

"My father, Charles Cook, was the first postmaster, the 'office' being our 
dining table. The mail was brought by ox-team from St. Cloud and later a 
Mr. Evans, the first Scandinavian, brought the mail on horse-back. The 
town of Evans\'ille was named after him and they built a small log house 
there for him to stay over night and break the distance of the journey, which 
was a very difficult one. He was later killed by the Indians. 

"The first school teacher I recall was a Miss Jonvier, a sister of Mrs. 
Kinkaid. The school house was an old log house on the von Baumbach 
place and belonged to my father. Mrs. Haines was the teacher in the stock- 
ade and later a Miss Pye taught. Then came Miss Olive Darling, who taught 
about the time that the Hjcks family came. The first doctor was Doctor 
Andrews, then a Doctor Borden and later Doctor Vivian. Mr. \'an Dyke 
had the first settler's store here, in which he had the postoffice. He also had 
the land office and was justice of the peace. The mail was quite large at 
that time, as the stockade had been built and the soldiers had been stationed- 
there. The mail was brought from St. Cloud by the Burbank stage and was 
heavily escorted bv mounted men. The stockade was situated aljout where 
the Aberly brewery now stands and was built in 1862 by 'Company 25' of 
Wisconsin. It was made of logs, with a bastion at opposite corners to use 
in case of an attack by the Indians. Many sad things happened there, one 
being the death of a young soldier, John Hazelton, who died of exposure. 
He was given a military funeral and his body was later taken to the Kinkaid 
cemetery, where it now lies. The assassination of President Lincoln hap- 
pened about this time and caused much sadness among the soldiers, some of 
whom wept like children. We were ordered to put on mourning and the 
flag was draped with some black lining I had bought to line a dress with, each 
soldier wearing a piece of it around his arm. 

"The first minister, to the best of my memory, was Bishop \MiippIe, 
hut several other missionaries came here at different times. 

"The spirit among all the early settlers was a kindly one and each one 
helped the others. Eatables were very high and hard to procure, flour being 
thirteen dollars a l^arrel. The poorest grade of calico was twenty-five cents 


a pound and ordinary sheeting was tift}- cents a }-ard, and a very poor grade 
of white flannel was over a dollar a yard. With all the inconveniences at 
this time we managed to have quite a little sociability and when one had 
anything extra nice to eat they always gave a party for the rest. Mrs. Bed- 
man had invited us all one evening and the feature was to be dried-apple pie. 
She only had enough apples to make two pies and had set them on a bench 
near the stove. In her excitement and lack of chairs she sat down on them, 
much to her sorrow, and ours. The Whitcomb family were also here during 
the time of the stockade, ]\[r. AMiitcomb being captain of the post. ]Many 
of the people who first came here were driven out by the Indians and never 
came back." 


Among the first settlers in Douglas count}- were Charles Cook and 
family, Londoners, who came to Minnesota from Canada in the later fifties 
and in 1858 settled on the banks of Lake Agnes, the present site of the city 
of Alexandria. Charles Cook had been an extensive merchant in the fur 
trade in London, his Hudson Bay establishment on Regent street in that city 
having been one of the largest of its kind in the metropolis, and it was he 
who introduced into London the use of seal skin as a luxurious form of outer 
apparel, his first seal-fur coat having been made for the Duke of Welling- 
ton, the second for Charles Dickens, the famous coat referred to in the 
latter's "American Notes," and the third for the Count d" Orsay. 'Sir. Cook's 
beautiful and accomplished wife was a Franklin, daughter of Robert Frank- 
lin, a cousin of Sir John Franklin and of Benjamin Franklin, and a repro- 
duction of the portrait of her younger sister, painted by one of the most 
celebrated artists of that day and hung in the Royal Gallery, is known world 
wide. Charles Cook unfortunately met with business reverses and left his 
beautiful home in London for New York, where he engaged for a time in 
business, going thence to Canada, later coming, with his family, into the 
wilds of Minnesota, in behalf of his Hudson Bay Company connection, but 
after a few years spent on the banks of Lake Agnes went East and later re- 
turned to London, where he spent the remainder of his life. In the mean- 
time his young daughter, Fanny, married James H. \'an Dyke, Alexandria's 
first merchant and one of the most active promoters of the destinies of the 
new settlement, and remained at the settlement. During the stockade days 
]\Irs. \"an Dyke was known as the "Florence Nightingale" of the post, where 
her husband was running the suttler's store, her kindness to ailing soldiers 
there endearing her to the whole command. Mrs. Van Dyke, who is still 


living in Alexandria, retains a very vivid recollection of the old stockade days 
and of the days preceding the Indian outbreak and retains at her pleasant 
home a number of interesting souvenirs of those days, including the first 
table and chair made by the hands of the soldiers at the stockade. She also 
is the possessor of a well-worn and valuable copy of the Franklin Bible, 
printed in 1813, and of numerous family portraits and works of art, souv- 
enirs of her girlhood da\s in London Irefore she became one of the pioneers 
of the Minnesota frontier. Her brother, Charles Cook, had a good bit of 
artistic ability and among her cherished possessions are several crayon draw- 
ings of scenes hereabout during the pioneer days, including a drawing of the 
old Cook log cabin, the house over on the hill, where now stands the von 
Baumbach home, where the first school in Douglas county was conducted, 
and of the old stockade, reproductions of which appear elsewhere in this 
volume. In her library Airs. Vru Dyke has a bound volume of Harper's 
Xcw Monthly Magazine for the year i860, in which appears a wonderfully 
interesting narrative of an anonymous traveler, the same illustrated by an 
equally anonymous artist, conveying in vivid language the author's impres- 
.sions of a trip "to Red River and Beyond." 

AN impressionist's VIEW OF ALEXANDRIA. 

The narrative of the anonymous magazine writer above referred to 
opens with a description of the departure of his part)' from St. Paul on June 
10 and of the journey to St. Cloud, the first station, and then takes up the 
second station of the journey on to Pembina, the reference to the trip across 
that section of the state comprised in what is now Douglas county being as 
follows : "On Monday, June 20, the train struck, its tents and left St. Cloud ; 
here beginning its experiences of camp-life with a background. So far we 
had been treading the warp and woof of civilization — now we began to 
slip of¥ the fringes of its outermost skirts. Our direction was northwest, by 
the valley of the Sauk river, through the lake district of central Minnesota 
to the head of navigation on Red River. Such articles as were needed had 
been added to our outfit, including a boat to cross streams in, which served 
for a wagon-box on dry land. The second day out all our horses and mules 
ran away .before breakfast. Half the camp scoured the camp in every direc- 
tion for the runaways. They were caught four miles away, making steady 
tracks for St. Cloud and its possible oats, led on in their desertion by two of 
the handsomest, smallest and meekest-looking mules in the train. The road 
rewarded them with retributive justice that day. The sloughs were innumer- 


able, and indeed innumerable they continued to be for weeks and weeks, only 
approaching the limits of mathematical calculation as we neared Pembina. 
This may seem strange when it is considered that we crossed the divide between 
the tributaries of the Minnesota and Mississippi; but, as Joseph said, 'with a 
general convexity of outline there was great concavity of detail' The con- 
vex 'divide,' like a rounded cheek, had a small-pox of lakes, bogs, ponds, 
sloughs and morasses. 

"To give in detail the particulars of this part of our experience would 
be cruel to writer and reader, though it might gain for the former a seat in 
the Chinese Paradise of Fuh, where the purgatorial price of admission is to 
wade for seven years in mud up to the chin. So let me give the spirit of it 
all, in a lump. The only external indication of some kinds of sloughs is a 
ranker growth of grass, perhaps of a different color, in the low ground 
between two hills of a rolling prairie. Again, on a level prairie, where the 
road seems the same as that you have been traveling dry shod, your horse's 
hoofs splash in wet grass. This goes on, worse and worse, till you get 
nervous and begin to draw up your heels out of the water; and so, perhaps, 
for a mile, whether in the water or out of it you cannot tell, horses up to 
their bellies trudging through the water and grass, carts sinking deeper than 
the hubs, you travel at the rate of one mile in 2 140. A^ery often, however, 
sloughs put on no such plausible appearance, but confess themselves unmis- 
takably bad and ruinous to horses and carts. 


"It is the wagon-master's business to ride ahead of the train a few hun- 
dred yards and on coming to a slough, to force his horse carefully back and 
forth through it until he finds the best place for crossing. I have fished for 
trout in Berkshire streams so small that, to an observer a hundred yards dis- 
tant, I must have seemed to be bobbing for grasshoppers in a green meadow ; 
but the appearance is not more novel than to see a strong horse plunging and 
pitching in a sea of green grass that seems to have as solid a foundation as 
that your own horse's hoofs are printing. Some sloughs have no better or 
worse spot. It is mud from one side to the other — mud bottomless and in- 
finite, and backing up in some infernal Symmes's hole. The foremost cart 
approaches, and, at the first step the mule sinks to his knees. Some mules lie 
down at this point; but most of ours were sufficiently well broken to make 
one more spasmcidic leap, and, though the water or mud went no higher than 
their fetlocks, then and there thev laid them down. This is the moment for 


human intervention, and, on the part of profane mule drivers, for an impreca- 
tion of divine intervention. The men get off their horses and carts and hurry 
to the shafts and wheels, tugging and straining, while one or two yell at and 
belabor the discouraged and mulish mule. 

"The census man would have no difficulty at this juncture in ascer- 
taining the persuasion to which profane mule drivers belong, or, at least, in 
which they have been reared. Some of their oaths derive their flavor from 
camp-meeting reminiscences. Another man excels as a close-communion 
swearer, and, after damning his mule, superfluously damns the man who 
would not damn him. Other oaths have a tropical luxuriance of irreverent 
verbiage that shows them to have been drawn from the grand and reverent 
phrases of the Prayer-book, and still others are of that sort which proves 
their users godless wretches, with whom, for very ignorance, oaths stand 
in the stead of adjectives. Belabored by oaths, kicks, whip-lashes and ropes- 
ends, the mule may rise and plunge and lie down again, and rise again and 
plunge, until the cart is on solid ground; but it was generally the quicker 
way to unload the cart or wagon at once, or to lighten it until the mule could 
get through easily. If this was inconvenient for any reason, a rope was 
fastened to the axle, and twenty men pulling one way would generally succeed 
in beating the planet pulling the other. Our Indian ponies got through the 
mud splendidly. Joseph was heard to recommend a stud of them for the 
hither side of Bunyan's Slough of Despond. They were too lazy to be other 
than deliberate in getting out of a hole. They put their feet down carefully, 
and, like oxen, waddled along, one step or one jump at a time. So they 
never strained themselves as high-spirited horses would, and yet were not so 
mulish as to be willing to stay stuck in the mud for centuries, until the 
branches of future trees would lift them up for fruit like Sir John Mande- 
ville's sheep. 


"Three times we crossed the tortuous Sauk, first by a ferry like the one 
at Rum river. The next time, four days afterward, we hail to make (Xir 
own ferry. One stout fellow swam across with a rope in his teeth, which 
was tied firmly to stout trees opposite each other. Then the wagon box was 
taken off the wheels, two or three hours spent in caulking it, launched, and 
a man in the bow, holding on to the rope which sagged down to within a 
vard of the water, by bending his body and keeping stifif legs, could head 
the bow up stream against the swift current and ]ndl himself and the load 



across. V Cree half-1)reed did tliis canoeing as dexterously from the first 
as if he had spent his Hfe on the river. Horses, mules and oxen were then 
pushed into the stream, one by one, their lariats tied around their noses, 
and held b}' another person in the boat, so as to guide them at once to the 
only place where they could get ashore. Finally, the empt)- carts and wagons 
were floated across and pulled up the bank tiy a rope around tlie axle. Cross- 
ing other streams where the current was not swift enough to overturn the 
carts, and the water only deep enough to flow over the boxes, we cut sap- 
plings, made a floor on top of the frames, lifted the goods top of that and 
crossed without unharnessing a mule. The conclusion of all which is, that 
people on railroad cars don't realize what they have to be thankful for. 

"This valley of the Sauk up which we were traveling is one of the 
garden spots of Minnesota. The new settlers of the last two or three years 
have many of them taken that direction. Claim-stakes and claim-shanties 
speck the road from one end to the other. Some of the claim-shanties were 
built in good faith, had been lived in, and land was tilled around them. Not 
a few, however, were of the other sort, built to keep the letter of the law ; 
four walls merely, no windows, doors or roof. We often found it con- 
venient to camp near these edifices, and saved ourselves the trouble of going 
half a mile for wood when we found it cut so near at hand. 

"A terrific thunder-storm came on one afternoon in this Sauk valley 
to which the average thunder-storms of latitude 40" 42', longitude 74" 41', 
are two-penny and theatrical. We were drenched, of course, with the lowest 
cloudful, in a moment; but the thunder was so near, prolonged and hurtling, 
that it was enough to make a brave man shiver to remember that his trousers 
had a steel buckle. All day and night the tempest continued, rain pouring, 
lightning flashing round the whole circuit of the heavens, and the thunder 
unintermitted. But the next morning rose as clear-skied as if the preceding 
had been a June day or old tradition, and not written down in the calendar 
of the battle-month as the anniversary of Mnntebello. 


"Our last day's travel in sylvan Sauk valley took us to Osakis Lake. 
Here we camped for Sunday, in an opening in a fine forest which sur- 
rounded the lake. Sunday was a perfect day. With patient sight one might 
trace here and there the graceful scarf-like shadowy white of the highest 
and rarest clouds against the pure blue. No lower or coarser forms were 
visible anvwhere from horizon to horizon, and even these would sweep into 


such evanescent folds, and ripple away into such ethereal faintness, that the 
eye passed them and looked through the blue ether itself. To breathe the 
pure air was indeed an inspiration. The wind came fresh and clear over the 
lake. There it lies, surrounded by forests on every side, with only here and 
there vistas of open prairie. From the level of the roots of the nearest trees, 
and from the shadows of the rest among their huge trunks, the shining beach 
slopes down, its white sand the floor where the waves endlessly run up, vis- 
ible far out and then fused with the surface blue. I gave myself a baptism 
in this beautiful cold lake, and then finding an old gnarled oak whose spread- 
ing limbs made a comfortable couch overlooking the water, whiled the still 
hours away till the shadows of the distant trees lengthened over the lake 
and touched the hither shore. Osakis lake is twelve miles long and two or 
three wide; its waters are ciuite cold and abound with the largest and finest 
kind of fresh-water fish — wall-eyed pike, bass, perch and other. The Doctor, 
our one skillful fisherman, brought in a boat-load, caught in an hour or 
two's drifting. The rest of the camp spent the day in reading, writing, 
sewing, fishing, washing, cooking and mending wagons. 

"Ten or twelve miles over the very worst road yet, brought us to a 
place which, when it gets to be a place, is to be called Alexandria. Half of 
the distance and more was through woods. Look up, and there was gorg- 
eous sunlight flooding the fresh, young leaves, lighting up old oak trunks, 
and glorifying the brilliant birch and maple, pigeons flying or alit, robins 
and thrushes and what other mellow-throated songsters I know not, making 
the vistas and aisles of shadow alive with sounds ; but look down, and your 
horse was balking at a labyrinth of stumps, where there was no place to 
put his foot; this extending for ten rods and there terminating in a slough 
aggravated by the floating debris of a corduroy bridge, and this ending in a 
mud-hole, the blackness of darkness, with one stump upright to prevent your 
wading comfortably through it, to transfix your horse or upset your cart. 

"The carts and their drivers could not get through by daylight, but 
were compelled to stay in the woods and fight mosquitoes all night, reaching 
Alexandria about noon the next day. Joseph and I, on our ponies, 'thridded 
the somber boskage of the wood' and got to Alexandria before dark. It was 
slow traveling, but on sure-footed Indian ponies, not very disagreeable. The 
mosquitoes were our worst torment ; we avoided their terebrations by 'taking 
the vail.' About the middle of the afternoon we caught glimpses through 
the leaves of a lake at the right of us, and soon came to the short branch 
road which led to it. Leading our horses down to the .water's edge, we 



observed a blazed tree just at the margin, and an inscription neatly written 
on the white wood, with name and date of the company by whom it had 
been cut. 

"Coming out on the beautiful prairie which is the site of Alexandria, 
we were surprised to see the wagon and tents of Messrs. Burbank and 
Blakely's first two stage loads, showing that their road-makers were not far 
enough ahead for them to follow on. Is it possible that I have forgotten 
to tell the romance of that stage load? Two Scotch girls, sisters, journeying 
without any protection save their good looks and good sense, from Scotland 
to Lake Athabasca, where one of them was to redeem her plighted faith 
and marry a Hudson Bay Company's officer. Ocean voyage alone, two or 
three thousand miles travel through a strange country to St. Paul alone, 
then this journey by stage to Ft. Abercrombie, camping out and cooking 
their own food, and voyaging down Red river in a batteau, near a thousand 
miles more, and fired at by Red Lake Indians on the way, then journey- 
ing with a company's brigade to Athabasca, going north all the while and 
winter coming on too, and the mercury traveling down to the bulb; but her 
courage sinking never a bit. Hold her fast when you get her, x\thabascan ! 
She is a heroine, and should be the mother of heroes. And the brave, brides- 
maid sister! Where are the 'chivalry?" Letters take about a year to get 
to Athabasca, gentlemen. 

"Three English sportsmen and their guns, tents and dogs filled another 
stage. They had hunted in Canada and Florida, shot crocodiles in the valley 
of the Nile, fished for salmon in Norway, and were now on their way to 
the bufifalo plains of Saskatchewan to enjoy the finest sport of all. Purdy 
rifles, Lancaster rifles, Wesley Richards's shot-guns and Manton's shot-guns, 
single-barreled and double-barreled: these wei-e their odds against brute 
strength and cunning. One of them was a baronet, the others Oxford men, 
and all might have passed a life of ease in London with society, libraries, 
establishments; but this wild life, with all its discomforts and privations and 
actual hardships and hard work, had more attractions for them in its free- 
dom, its romance, its adventure. Their stories were of beleagured proctors 
and bear fights, Hyde Park and deer-stalking. Rotten Row rides and moose 
hunts. Next year we may hear of them up the Orinoco or in South Africa. 
Better there than wasting away manliness in 'society' or the 'hells,' or in 
bribing electors ; but is there not something else in all England worth living 
and working for? One of the three was a splendid rifle-shot. With my 
Maynard rifle, breech-loading and weighing only six pounds, unlike anything 
he had ever handled, he plumped a sardine-box at distances of lOO. 150, 200 


and 300 yards, and hit the small tree, in the cleft of which it was fastened, 
almost every time in twenty. 


"Our tented tield was a fair beginning for a town. In fact, we far 
outnumbered the actual population of Alexandria. Joseph and I were glad 
enough to be permitted to enjoy more than municipal privileges under the 

roof of Judge G (P. L. Gregory). If pioneers were all of the 

kind that have founded Alexandria, civilization and refinement would travel 
west as fast as settlement, instead of being about a decade behind. The 
house was built of hewn logs," of course; but inside grace and beauty strug- 
gled with the roughness of such raw materials and came off victorious, and 
yet nothing was out of place. There was an air about the main room that . 
made you remember that the grandest queen walked on rush-strewn floors 
not half so fine as these spotless planks — and what wall-paper had such deli- 
cate hues as the peeled bark revealed on the timber beneath? — and there 
was a woman's trick in the fall of the window curtains and the hanging of 
the net over the spotless counterpane in the corner, and the disposition of 
things on the bureau, crowned by its vaseful of beautiful prairie flowers. 
Here we enjoy such dinner-table chat and such long evening talks; '^\{; and-i 

I., with Judge G and his wife, as made us wish we had known. 

them in London Terrace ten years ago, though we could regret the absence 
of none of the luxuries which they were daily proving a well-ordered life 
could be lived without. 

"Alexandria is environed b)- beautiful lakes — lakes which I obstinately 
refuse to rhapsodize over, simply because there are so many and all deserve 
it. To a promontory jutting out into one of these I took a seven-mile walk 
early one drizzly morning, with one of our party, accompanied by a hound, 
for which he had returned, to follow up the scent of a deer which he said 
he had shot and badly wounded two hours before. We found the place — - 
the leaves were splashed with blood — gave the dog the scent, and followed .his 
wild running for two or three miles, but saw no deer and walked home in 
the rain. * * * First day's travel from Alexandria train made two 
and one-half miles. Best four-wheel wagon had all its spokes crushed out 
falling into some rut in a wood-road. Next day we got on a dozen miles 
farther to Chippewa crossing. A party of Chippewas were hunting and 
fishing in the vicinity. Two dusky boys watched us crossing from their 
canoe and laughed. I fancy, at white paddling. A shower came up, but 


before the shallow lake had put on its goose-flesh to meet the raindrops, 
their paddles were out, and they skimmed the water, straight as a crow 
flies, through the rushes to the shelter of the trees which overhung the 
water, and there the canoe rested motionless again, and they watched us in 
silence. They had speared a half dozen buffalo fish and a plug of tobacco 
bought all we wanted for supper. * * * 'pj^g prairie from Alexandria 
to Otter Tail river was a very beautiful one, the hills moderately high, but 
of gentle slopes, their green, grassy sides flecked with wild flowers of 
a thousand brilliant or quiet hues, and then every mile or two a high swell 
of land from which we could look over these smaller undulations to the 
great green wave rising to its height again." And it was thus that this genial 
but anonymous traveler passed on out of what afterward came to be known 
as Douglas county on his way to the Pembina country and beyond, leav- 
ing a record of his impressions along the way that is invaluable today as a 
reflection of the country and of the condition of things in the days of the 
very beginning of a social order hereabout. 


Among the most active of the early residents of Alexandria were the 
three brothers, Charles F., Lorenzo G. and George C. Sims, uncles of 
George L. Treat, of that city. The Sims brothers were natives of New 
York state, but early took up their residence in Minnesota, Charles F. Sims 
arriving at St. Paul in the spring of 1856. From 1861 to 1863 he was in 
the drug business at St. Anthony and in 1864 he joined Captain Fisk's expedi- 
tion of that year bound for Idaho. He later engaged in the milling business 
at St. Cloud and in 1866 he and his brother joined the last Fisk expedition 
west, returning to Minnesota in 1868. From 1869 to 1875 Charles F. Sims 
was in the employ of W. E. Hicks as manager of the latter's mills at Alex- 
andria, and in the fall of 1871 made two trips to Ft. Gary in the interests 
of the mill. In 1875 he went to California, three years later locating in 
Minneapolis, and in 1882 moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota, returning 
to Minneapolis in 1905, where he died on May 8, 1910. For a time during 
his residence in Alexandria he was postmaster of the village, as was also, 
later, his brother Lorenzo G. Sims, who located in Alexandria in 1867, 
remaining there engaged in the drug business until his departure about 1881 
for Rosco, South Dakota, where he remained in business for about twenty- 
years, at the end of which time he retired and moved to Minneapolis, where 


he is now making his home. The third brother, George Sims, located at 
Alexandria in 1868 and was for some time employed in the old Hicks 
log store there, presently engaging in business for himself and was thus 
engaged until he sold out and went to Wisconsin. His death occurred in 
Chicago, October 22, 1898. 

OLD people's home. 

The Old People's Home of the Red River Valley Conference of the 
Augustana Lutheran church, now being erected near Alexandria, will be 
when completed one of the finest institutions of its kind in the state. The 
buildings are being erected on a naturally beautiful and desirable site, on 
the shore of Lake Winona, just west of the city of Alexandria, on ground 
donated by C. H. Raiter. They occupy a high rise of ground, comma'nding 
a view of a large oak grove, the grounds gently sloping to the lake shore. 

The main building, of which the corner-stone was laid during the first 
week in September, 1916, is fifty-three by eighty-eight feet in dimensions. 
It has full basement, two floors of rooms and large attic. The main build- 
ing was ready for occupancy on November i, 1916, and cost about twenty- 
five thou.sand dollars. 

early days near nelson. 

The following interesting reminiscence was written by C. H. Larson, 
the Nelson merchant, who has a vivid recollection of pioneer conditions in 
this neighborhood : 

"We arrived in this county by mule-team from St. Cloud in November, 
1868, stopping at the farm house of John A. Nelson that first winter. 
Some time during the winter a bear broke through an out shanty and stole 
a butchered pig from Mr. Nelson and, by the way, pigs were pigs in those 
days. In the spring of 1869 my grandmother walked through the wilder- 
ness for a week or ten days trying to find some small pigs and she finally 
found a farmer south of Melrose that had pigs and she persuaded him to 
sell her two which she carried in a basket and came home after traveling 
for aliout ten days. She was a very strong woman and for several sum- 
mers went with my father out in the harvest fields in English Grove, there 
being a settlement in that part in the early days. The settlers came in quite 
a few in the early seventies, homesteaded land in the Crooked Lake coun- 
try and what we called the Geneva Woods. We moved into our own shanty 


in the early fall of 1869 and built a better house a year later made of hewn 
logs with moss between the logs and birch bark and dirt on the roof. These 
Wfere the prevailing high-toned dwellings in those days; the poorer trash lived 
in hol6s in the ground or huts built of round logs. 

"House-keeping was very easy in those days, one room made up for sit- 
ting room, dining room, bed room, kitchen and all the other rooms. Furni- 
ture consisted of a couple of hewn log benches, same for table, and logs 
nailed up in a corner for bed. Feed was potatoes, salt bread and butter, 
burnt bread, coffee and milk, and of course those that could shoot and had 
a gun could get game all they wanted, but my father had never shot a gun 
in his life but he finally bought one and I remembered plainly one evening we 
met a large buck but in place of shooting he stuck the gun in the air and 
hollered so the buck would not run over us. There was plenty of fish but 
there was no way of getting them except to get out in the water with a 
pitchfork and shovel them out, which some of the most enterprising did. 

The mode of traveling in the early days was walking through mud and 
water knee deep in some places and through brush and thrash that w^as 
nearly impassable. In 1869 a path was cut through the woods to Alexan- 
dria called the Crooked Lake road. This was the outlet from East Bell 
river. Crooked Lake and the Geneva Woods settlement and connected with 
the so-called State Road some four miles east of Alexandria. In the winter 
of 1872 and 1873 railroad work was started and the settlers all wore a 
grin. This work kept up for about two years and then quit; some of the 
settlers cut some cord wood and ties and hauled out to the track expecting 
to sell — but nothing doing. The railroad company was busted. Then on 
top of all this drawback we had an Indian scare in the year 1876. Everybody 
expected to get killed ; many people flocked into the village and barricaded 
themselves. We stayed on the farm; my stepfather got the broad-ax into 
the house and we barricaded the door, so we expected to decapitate at least 
some redskin before we were willing to give up. But no Indians came. 

"When this scare was over the grasshoppers came and practically ate 
up evervthing, even the pitchfork handles. We would run over our little 
field of wheat with a clothes line, one man in each hand, to scare them off 
or at least keep them from continually eating; we saved some of our crop 
that way. Some people would dig ditches across the road to keep the small 
grasshoppers from going from one field to another. When the ditch was full 
of hoppers hay was put on them and set afire to, burning them up. The 
government furnished coal tar and many used to run little carts across the 
field in the spring and capture hoppers in this way. 


"Finally, some years later, the railroad was finished and cars came 
along. The engine toots was sweet music to the settlers. Wood chopping 
and hauling was the going business in those days and every shack in the 
woods was full of wood choppers and haulers; prairie farmers coming in 
from all over the country buying stumpage, put up shacks and spending the 
winters that way. 

"The first minister that I can remember came in here in the spring 
of 1869, stopping at a farm in Crooked Lake and preaching in several of 
the homestead shacks around. There was a small Swede paper printed in 
Chicago that was circulated around in the early days. In this paper the 
minister I spoke about above wrote about his trip here. He said : T stopped 
at a place in Crooked Lake one night. I got mush in a wooden bowl, milk 
in a wooden bowl and ate with another wooden bowl and butchered all night.' 
The bedbugs were very active in the log shacks in those days and the more 
sensitive people had a hard time to sleep. The Crooked Lake church was 
built a year or two later. It was c|uite up-to-date for those times. It was 
built of hewn logs, had several windows in it and had two iron rods run- 
ning across the building to keep the logs from bulging out. The benches 
were hewn planks put on log standards, cut from round legs so they were 
quite substantial but hard on the back, as the ministers in those days never 
preached less than four hours at one sitting. Reverend Lundblad, of Park- 
ers Prairie, was the first minister that preached regularly in the Crooked 
Lake church. The people came to church in their blue overalls and what 
we called in those days government boots, but they were all happy and con- 
tented and I doubt if the people of our day are as satisfied as those settlers of 
the early day. Most of them walked to church and the better class would 
drive a team of oxen when the roads were passable. 

"The first school in district No. 22 was held in my grandfather's hut, 
in the summer of 1873. ^^ ^r. Fred Leasure taught the school, having 
about four scholars when all attended, but mostly only myself, as I am a 
sticker and attended the three months every day. I learned the A, B, C's 
and to talk a little English and how to kill snakes successfully. Crushing 
the head done the business. The next year a log school house was built 
on the Crooked Lake road, on section 14. The first term we had many 
teachers, most of them staying only a few days. Mr. C. J. Gunderson was 
the first successful one we had and even he had to take a layoff for several 
weeks during the term but was ably substituted with his sister, Mrs. Van 

"The Swedish church in Alexandria was organized about 1878 and 


we shared the church with the Norwegians for many years, finally buying 
them out. Reverend Lind was our first minister in Alexandria, having Alex- 
andria, Crooked Lake and Ida congregations, and from then everything has 
gone merrily on." 




Geology and Topography. 

Grant county lies in western Minnesota, in the second range of counties 
east from Lakes Tra\-erse and Big Stone. Elbow lake, in the central part, 
is the county seat. The county is sc|uare, measuring four townships, or 
twenty-four miles, from east to west, and the same from north to south. 
The area of the county is 578.28 square miles, or 370,099.24 acres, of which 
about twenty thousand acres are covered by water. 


The west half of Grant county is included within the basin of the Red 
River of the North, being drained to Lake Traverse by the Mustinka river 
and its tributaries. The rest of this county is drained to the Minnesota 
river, mainly by the Pomme de Terre, which flows very directly from north 
to south through the east half of the county. The Chippewa river, however, 
flows nearly parallel with the Pomme de Terre river, and only four or five 
miles east of it, through the southeast edge of Grant county. 

Lakes are numerous in the county excepting in the western portion 
thereof. They range in size from the smallest, a few rods in diameter, to 
Pelican lake, which covers approximately six square miles, in the most north- 
east township of Grant county, to which its name is given. Elk lake and 
Elbow lake also give their names to the townships in which they occur. Its 
other most noteworthy lakes are Pomme de Terre lake, through which the 
river of this name flows. Lightning lake in Stony Brook township, Cormor- 


ant lake and Barnett lake in Lien township, and a group of a dozen small 
lakes within five miles east and southeast from Herman. 

Grant county has mostly an undulating or rolling surface, rising in 
smooth, massive swells ten to thirty or sometimes fifty feet above the hol- 
lows and lakes. Seen in a view of wide extent, however, the appearance is 
that of an approximately level plain. The valleys or channels eroded by 
these streams are from fifty to seventy-five feet deep, and var}- from a 
quarter to a half of a mile, or rareh', where the Pomme de Terre river flows 
through lakes, one and a half miles in width. 

The northeastern third is more prominentl\- rolling than other parts of 
the county ; and rough morainic knolls and hills border the north side of 
Pelican lake and extend westward into the northeast corner of Pomme de 
Terre township. These are the southwest edge of the great morainic tract 
called the Leaf hills. Within the limits of this county they attain only slight 
altitudes, fifty to one hundred an.d fifty feet above Pelican lake and Lake 
Christina, or about twelve hundred and fifty to thirteen hundred and fifty 
feet above the sea. 

In the western range of townships of Grant county the area that was 
occupied by the glacial Lake Agassiz, as described in a later part of this 
chapter, is characterized by a much more smoothed and even surface than 
the other parts of the district toward the east and south, this being the margin 
of the verv flat, broad expanse which reaches thence west to the Bois des 
Sioux river and north along the Red River valley to Winnipeg. 


The following elevations were taken on the old St. Paul, Minneapolis 
& Manitoba Railway, from profiles in the ofifice of Col. C. C. Smith, engineer, 
St. Paul: 

Fergus Falls Line. 

Feet above 
the sea. 
Outlet from Lake Christina to Pelican lake, water, 1,213; grade 1.225 

Interlaken ^'""^ 

Ashby ^--91 

Summit near Ashby, cutting ten feet; grade 1.294 

Pelican creek, water, 1236; grade 1.249 

doui;las and grant counties, Minnesota. 363 

Breckinridge Line. 

Hancock 1.155 

Summit, cutting only one foot; grade 1,17- 

Pomme de Terre river, water, 1,066; grade 1,078 

Junction of Brown's \'alley branch 1,120 

Morris . 1,129 

Summit, grade 1,156 

Donnelly 1,1^4 

Herman 1,070 

Upper beach Lake .\gassiz, cut six feet; grade 1,060 

Norcross, on lower beach of Lake Agassiz 1-039 

Mustinka creek, water, 1,018; grade 1,026 

The highest land of Grant county, in Pelican Lake and Erdahl townships, 
is about thirteen hundred and fifty feet above the sea and its lowest land, on its 
west boundary, is about ten hundred and ten feet above the sea. Estimates 
of the average heights of the townships of Grant county are as follows : 
Pelican Lake, twelve hundred and seventy-five feet ; Erdahl, twelve hundred 
and seventy-five; Elk Lake, twelve hundred and fifty; Land, twelve hundred 
and twenty-five; Pomme de Terre, twelve hundred and forty; Sanford, 
twelve hundred and twenty; Lien, eleven hundred and eighty; Roseville, 
eleven hundred and sixty; Stony Brook, eleven hundred and si.xty; Elbow. 
Lake, eleven hundred and forty ; Delaware, ten hundred and ninety : Macs- 
ville, ten hundred and ninety; Lawrence, ten hundred and fifty; North Otta- 
wa, ten hundred and thirty-five, and Logan, ten hundred and fifty. The 
mean elevation of Grant county, from these figures, is eleven hundred and 
fifty-five feet. 


A black loam soil extends everywhere one to four feet deep. This is 
the enriched upper part of the glacial drift, which below forms the subsoil, 
having a ^-ellowish color, due to weathering, to a depth of ten to twenty feet, 
be^•ond which it has a darker and bluish color. Clay, sand and gravel, with 
occasional boulders, intermingled in an unstratified manner (clay being the 
predominant ingredient), constitute the greater part of this formation. With 
this boulder-clay, till, or hardpan. as it is called, are associated comparatively 
thin and scantv deposits of stratified gravel and sand, which occur as layers 


in the till, or rarely in knolls or swells on its surface, also in flat tracts on the 
bottom lands of the larger streams, and in beach-ridges on the borders of 
Lake Agassiz. 

The county is wholly prairie, with timber only in small groves besides 
many of the lakes and in a very narrow belt along portions of the rivers and 
creeks. Basswood, bur-oak, white and red elm, silver maple, box-elder, wild 
plum, green ash, hackberry, ironwood, poplar and Cottonwood are the prin- 
cipal species of trees. 


The drift-sheet, consisting chiefly of till, and probably varying from 
one hundred to two hundred feet in depth, covers the county and wholly 
conceals the bed-rocks. Beneath the drift are doubtless in many places de- 
posits of Cretaceous age, similar to those outcropping in Brown, Redwood, 
Lyon and Stearns counties; but under these, or, where they are absent, imme- 
diately underlying the drift, Archaen rocks are believed to occupy this whole 
district, at a depth of a few hundred feet. 

A well drilled for the railroad at Herman passed through one hundred 
and twenty-four feet of till, and then went sixty-five feet in rock. The first 
seven or eight feet of the rock was the fine-grained, buff, raagnesian lime- 
stone, boulders of which are common throughout northwestern Minnesota. 
Professor Winchell thinks it probable that this portion was a compacted 
mass -of bouWers.-' --The 'nearest outcrops of this rock in the direction from 
which the drift came, are near Winnipeg in Manitoba. The remaining fifty- 
seven feet were evidently in Archaen rocks, being quartzose granite, with 
red feldspar ; white micaceous quartzyte ; and mica schist of several varieties. 

The glacial drift forming the surface of this county has the same 
smoothly undulating or rolling contour which characterizes the greater part 
of the Minnesota basin. Its only portion presenting the rough, irregularly 
grouped, stony knolls and hills of terminal moraines in northeastern Grant 
county, including Pelican Lake, some parts of Erdahl and the northeast corner 
of Pomme de- Terre township. These moraink accumulations belong to the 
time of the eighth or Fergus Falls moraine. The ice-sheet appears to have 
lain upon this district until its recession from the seventh or Dovre moraine, 
when it was melted back from Swift and Big Stone counties to Fergus Falls 
and the Leaf hills in Otter Tail county. 

The gravel on the bottom land of the Pomme de Terre river is about 


half limestone; and nearly the same proportion holds for the gravel of lake- 
shores and for that contained in the till. A much less proportion of the large 
boulders is limestone, perhaps not more than a twentieth generally, and in 
some localities scarcely a hundredth, the remainder being granite, syenite, 
gneiss and crystalline schists. But in section 31, Elk Lake township, about 
a dozen limestone blocks, three to eight feet in size, were seen together one to 
three rods west of the road, much outnumbering the comparati\ely small 
granitic boulders that could be counted on the same space. 

The valleys of the Pomme de Terre and Chippewa rivers, iift\- to one 
hundred feet deep along most of their course, and one-fourth mile to one 
mile or occasionally more in width, were avenues of drainage from the 
melting ice-fields in their northward retreat. By these glacial floods the 
Pomme de Terre valley was eroded below its present depth, and the subse- 
quent alluvial deposits brought in by tributaries and washed down from 
adjoining bluffs by the springs in their ravines, have filled some portions 
higher than others, so that depressions not thus filled hold the Pomme de 
Terre and Little Pomme de Terre lakes. 


Lake Agassiz, formed in the basin of the Red river by the barrier of the 
ice-sheet, extended into the northwest part of Eldorado, the most northwest 
township of Stevens county, and its upper beach continues thence northward 
through Grant county, lying four to six miles east of the county line. On 
the area occupied by this glacial lake, the surface is notably smoothed and 
nearly flat. Its material here is mainly till, in some places showing indistinct 
marks of stratification due to the leveling action of the lake, but containing 
sand and gravel and frec|uent boulders, and much more properly classed as 
till than as modified drift. No lakes are now found on this part of the area 
that was covered by Lake Agassiz, but it has occasional sloughs, sometimes 
a mile or more in extent. Besides the upper or Herman beach of this lake, 
which is crossed by the Great Northern railway one and one-half miles north- 
west of Herman, its next lower or Norcross beach is well exhibited through 
the west range of townships of Grant county, being crossed I)y this railway 
at Norcross, five miles northwest of Herman. These beaches consist of 
gravel and sand, each being a low, flattened ridge, ten to twenty to one hun- 
dred rods wide, three to ten feet above the adjoining land on the side away 
from the lake, and having a descent of ten to twenty feet on the other side. 


The outlet of Lake Agassiz flowed in the remarkable channel or valley 
which now contains Lakes Traverse and Big Stone and the Minnesota river. 
At the time when the upper beach was formed, its mouth was about eighty 
feet above the present surface of Lake Traverse, or ten hundred and fifty 
feet above the sea. The Norcross beach in Grant county is one to three 
miles west of the upper or Herman beach and alx)ut thirty feet lower, show- 
ing that the outlet of the lake had eroded its channel considerably during the 
time between the stages recorded by these beach ridges. 

The following notes were taken in connection with the work of mapping 
these beaches and leveling to determine their elevation : 


The beach ridge is well displayed in the northwest quarter of section 
19, Eldorado township, in Stevens county, having an elevation of about ten 
hundred and sixty-three feet above the sea. Its height is seven to ten feet 
above the land next west, and. five feet above the depression next east. The 
surface on each side .is till,, slowly falling westward and rising eastward. 

Beach in the northwest part of section i-j, Logan township, having an 
elevation of ten hundred and sixty-seven to ten hundred and sixty-nine feet; 
in the southwest quarter of section 22, ten hundred and sixty-seven; in the 
north part of this section 22, and the south part of section 15, Logan town- 
ship, forming a broad, smoothly rounded gravel-ridge, ten hundred and sixty- 
eight to ten hundred and seventy-one. 

Beach near the middle of section 15, Logan township, about thirty rods 
wide, with a broad nearly flat top, ten hundred and seventy; having a descent 
of about fifteen feet on its northwest side to the area of Lake Agassiz, and 
half as much on the southeast, thence rising very gradually in the one and 
one-half miles eastward to Herman. This ridge is gravel: the land at each 
side, till. 

Beach equally well exhibited, at the southeast corner of section 10, and 
in the southwest part of section 11, Logan township, ten hundred and sixty- 
nine to ten hundred and seventy-one; and in this section 11, at the railroad, 
and for fifty rods southwestward, ten hundred and sixty-four to ten hundred 
and sixty-six. In the cut through this beach-ridge for the railroad, its 
material is sand and gravel, containing pebbles up to two or three inches in 
diameter, half or two-thirds being limestone. 

Depression forty rods wide next southeast at the railroad, lowest twenty 


rods from the top of the beach, ten hundred and sixty to ten hundred and 

Surface of till at the southeastern snow fences of the raih'oad, about 
a third of a mile southeast from the beach, ten hundred and seventy -three ; 
at the northwest end of the northwestern snow fences, about twenty-five 
rods northwest from the highest part of the beach, ten hundred and fifty- 
four; and at the one hundred and eightieth mile-post, about a charter of a 
mile northwest of the last, ten hundred and forty-nine. 

Railroad track at Herman, ten hundred and seventy; at the one hun- 
dred and eightieth mile-post, ten hundred and fifty-one. 

In the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section i8, Dela- 
ware township, ten hundred and sixty-seven; beach here, ten hundred and 
sixty-six to ten hundred and sixty-se\en. 

On the east side of the southeast (|uarter of section 12, Gorton town- 
ship, on the western slope of the beach, ten hundred and sixty-two; top of 
l^each-ridge, ten hundred and sixty-seven. Beach through the next one and 
a half miles north, along the west side of sections 18 and 7, Delaware town- 
ship, ten hundred and sixty-six to ten hundred and sixty-eight. The beach 
for this distance is conspicuously developed, having a width of about twenty- 
five rods, rising five to eight feet above the depression at its east side and 
ten to fifteen feet above the land west. 

In the southwest quarter of section 6, Delaware township, of same height 
with the top of the beach-ridge, ten hundred and sixty-eight. 

Beach in section 31, Elbow Lake township, not so conspicuous as usual, 
ten hundred and sixty-six; in or near the southwest quarter of section 19, 
this township, ten hundred and seventy ; in the southwest quarter of section 
18, a gracefully rounded, low ridge, as elsewhere, composed of gravel and 
sand, including pebbles up to three inches in diameter, ten hundred and sixty- 
five to ten hundred and sixty-six; in the northwest quarter of this section 18, 
ten hundred and seventy; in the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter 
of section 2, North Ottawa township, ten hundred and seventy-one; aliout 
one mile north of east, near the north side of section 35, Lawrence township, 
ten hundred and seventy-five: and about one mile farther north, also ten 
hundred and seventy-five. 

Beach in the northeast quarter of section 26, Lawrence township, ten 
hundred and seventy-five feet, being four feet above the land adjoining this 
ridge on the east, and about ten feet above the flat land near on the west ; in 
section 2t,. Lawrence township, ten hundred and seventy-six; and near the 


south side of section 10, ten hundred and sixty-nine to ten hundred and 

Extensive sloughs of marshes occur in section 36, and in sections 25 and 
24, Lavifrence township, each being about a mile long, lying on the east side 
of the beach-ridge and reaching two and one-half miles northward; the eleva- 
tion of these above sea-level is about ten hundred and sixty feet. 

In the north part of section 10, and the south part of section 3, Law- 
rence township, the shore line of Lake Agassiz is not marked, as usual, by a 
gravel ridge, but by a somewhat abrupt ascent or terrace, the top of which, 
composed partly of gravel, is ten hundred and eighty-five to ten hundred and 
seventy-nine; base of this terrace-land westward, consisting of till slightly 
modified on the area of Lake Agassiz, ten hundred and sixty to ten hundred 
and fifty. This escarpment, the eroded shore-line of the glacial lake, passes 
at the north side of section 10, Lawrence township. 

Beach in section 34, Western township, the most southwest township 
of Otter Tail county, ten hundred and seventy to ten hundred and seventy- 


At Norcross depot this beach has the same elevation as the railroad 
track, ten hundred and thirty-nine feet above the sea. There is a depression 
three feet lower on the southeast, and the surface ten to fifteen rods north- 
west from the top of this beach, on the side where the lake was, is ten hun- 
dred and thirty-two to ten hundred and thirty-four. Thence a very smooth 
plain descends to Gorton, Campbell, and the Red river at Breckinridge. 
Alx)ut fifty rods northeast from Norcross depot, the beach attains its greatest 
height in this vicinity, ten hundred and forty-three feet. It is a rounded, 
low ridge of sand and gravel, lying on an area of till, having the same 
characters as the upper beach at the numerous places that has been described. 
The course of the Norcross beach has been mapped, but its elevation has not 
been exactlv determined at other points in this county. In Western town- 
ship. Otter Tail county, its elevation is approximately ten hundred and forty- 
five feet. 


As there are no outcrops of rock, the boulders of the drift are consider- 
ablv used for rough masonry. They are frequent throughout much of the 
district, but are comparatively scarce on the more smooth and flat areas. 


Magnesian limestone boulders have been burned for lime in the south- 
west part of Pelican township, and also in the north part of this same town- 
ship, as well as in the northwest part of Erdahl on the southeast side of 
Pomme de Terre lake. 


The first brick-making in the county was begun in 1881. The clay used 
is till, excavated to a depth of five or six feet, containing gravel, a large part 
of which is limestone, so that nearly every brick is more or less cracked by 
the slacking of particles of Hme. Some sand, hauled from the Pomme de 
Terre river, is mixed with this clay for tempering. The bricks are mostly 
cream-colored, but have a notably greenish tint when they are subjected to 
the greatest heat, and a light pinkish color close to the outside of the kiln, 
where the heat is least. 


An artificial mound of the usual dome-like form, forty feet across and 
six feet high, lies in section 12, Lien township, about thirty rods east of 
the road and a half a mile southwest from Little Pomme de Terre lake, which 
is about seventy-five feet lower. 

Another mound, about five feet high, is located one-half mile northwest 
from the old Moose Island tank, on land some twenty feet above a little lake 
close east. This is four miles southeast from Herman. 


The Indian Outbreak and the Stockade. 

The principal scenes of the Sioux Indian outbreak of 1862 occurred 
some hundred miles to the south, but no introduction to the history of 
Grant county would be complete, or furnish a proper understanding of con- 
ditions just prior to the advent of white settlers in this region, which did not 
recite the main events of that fateful summer which ended forever the occupa- 
tion of this county by the native red men. Not until this outburst of savage 
fury had been subdued and the hostile Indians driven from the state, was it 
safe for settlers to locate this far from supply stations and military protec- 

In the campaign which followed the outbreak, outposts of soldiers were 
stationed in the area which subseciuently became Grant county, and several 
expeditions of troops traversed this region, going or returning from the 
engagements farther west. A number of the men who a little later were 
among the early settlers of this county, passed through here during the 
Indian warfare, and secured such a favorable impression of the country that 
the}' made plans to return. 

causes of, the outbreak. 

There is a great difference of opinion as to the primary cause of the 
Sioux Indian outbreak in Minnesota in the summer of 1862. However, it is 
certain that the white traders and the government agents were not entirely 
guiltless in bringing about this formidable uprising. Under the terms of 
the treaties of 185 1 and 1858 the Indians were paid a certain amount of 
money each year in exchange for the land they had ceded to the whites. This 
payment was usually made in June, in gold and silver coin, and amounted 
to about thirty dollars to each Indian of the various Sioux bands. It had 
become an established custom for the white traders to be present at the 
payment and present bills against the Indians which often equalled and some- 
times exceeded the amount to be drawn from the government. Soldiers were 
on hand to enforce the collection of these bills and this greatly incensed the 


Another cause for dissatisfaction was the edict of the government that 
the Sioux should not make war on the Chippewas, who had recently killed 
several of their number. In May, 1862, a band of Sioux under Red Iron 
were hunting on the upper Pomme de Terre river, within the borders of this 
county, when they were attacked by the Chippewas, and lost two men. 

The Indians assembled at the Yellow Medicine Agency about the usual 
time in 1862, to receive their annuity. The payment was delayed, and after 
waiting until their provisions were exhausted the Indians returned to their 
camps. This increased the unrest among the Sioux and the more headstrong 
warriors began to urge an uprising against the whites to regain the land they 
had parted with. The Civil War was then in progress and it seemed an oppor- 
tune time for an organized attack. An accident caused the smouldering 
resentment to burst into flame. 


During the second week in August, 1862, a party of young Indians 
who were hunting in Meeker county got to bantering each other as to which 
were the braver, finally each vowing that to show their courage they would 
kill a white man. They proceeded to the house of Robinson Jones, near 
Acton, and after making a show of friendship, shot and killed five people. 
Securing horses in that neighborhood they mounted and rode to the camp 
of their band near the Redwood Agency. A council was called and after 
various chiefs had been visited and informed of the happening, it was decided 
to make war on the whites rather than surrender their comrades who had 
killed the settlers. 

The next day, August 18, 1862, the Indians attacked the Redwood 
Agency, killing many white men and capturing the women and children. A 
few escaped and carried the news of the uprising to Ft. Ridgely, which was 
the nearest garrison of government troops, fourteen miles away. The 
Indians divided into small bands and that same day killed manv settlers on 
both sides of the Minnesota river, burned their houses and ran ofl:' their 


Capt. John S. Marsh, in command of Company B, Fifth Minnesota 
Regiment, stationed at Ft. Ridgely, upon receipt of the news of the massacre 
at Redwood Agency, deeming it merely a local trouble, set out with a party 
of about fifty men to quell the disturliance at the Agency. He had nci idea 


of the extent of the uprising and was confident that he could overcome any 
opposition he might meet. While this command was preparing to cross the 
river by ferry just below the Agency, they were attacked by Indians in 
ambush along the river and Captain Marsh and twenty-five soldiers were 
killed. This victory encouraged some of .the hesitating Indians to join in 
the uprising. 


On Tuesday morning. August 19, 1862, about three hundred and twenty 
warriors under the command of chief Little Crow descended upon the town 
of New Ulm and laid siege to that place. After several fierce attacks dur- 
ing the succeeding four days the Indians finally withdrew. The loss to the 
defenders of New Ulm was some thiry-five men killed and more than sixty 
wounded. Ft. Ridgely was attacked on August 20 and 21, but was able to 
drive off the savages. A few days later reinforcements arrived under com- 
mand of Colonel Sibley. 


The main body of the Indians retreated up the river after their repulse 
from Ft. Ridgely. On August 31 Colonel Sibley sent a detachment of men 
to Redwood Agency to bury the bodies of Captain Marsh's men killed at the 
ferry, and to learn the strength and location of the Indians. While part of 
this command under Captain Grant were camped at Birch Coulie, on Septem- 
ber I, they were attacked by a large band of Indians who were on their way 
down the river to make a new assault on New Ulm. The soldiers were not 
taken altogether by surprise and were able to hold oft' their assailants until 
help came to them from Ft. Ridgely. 

After the battle of Birch Coulie, Colonel Sibley organized a strong force 
and proceeded up the south bank of the Minnesota river after the retreating 


On the evening of September 22 Colonel Sibley's column of about two 
thousand men went into camp a short distance northeast of Wood Lake, in 
the eastern part of Yellow Medicine county. Early the next morning the 
camp was attacked by the Indians, who were driven off after many of their 
number .had been killed. The loss to the whites was seven men killed and 
thirty-four wounded. This battle ended all organized effort on the part of 


the Indians, who retreated to their camps up the river, opposite the point 
where the Chippewa i\ows into the Minnesota river. There they dug rifle 
pits and were read}' to make a determined resistance, but when the soldiers 
under Colonel Sible}' came up the Indians saw they were greatly outnum- 
bered and surrendered, at the same time giving up ninety-one white pris- 
oners, mostly women and children. In commemoration of this event the 
spot was named Camp Release and is now marked by a fine monument. 

While this campaign against the organized bands of Indians was in 
progress, many outrages were perpetrated on settlers all over western Minne- 
sota, by raiding Indians in small parties. A few days before the surrender 
at Camp Release, chief Little Crow with over one hundred warriors, fled into 
North Dakota. Later Little Crow returned to this state and was shot and 
killed by a settler near Hutchinson, McLeod county. Of the Indians who 
surrendered to Colonel Sibley, three hundred and three were condemned to 
death, but owing to appeals for clemency from eastern people. President 
Lincoln commuted the death sentences of two hundred and sixty- four to 
imprisonment. Thirty-eight were hanged on one scaffold at Mankato. on 
December 26, 1862. One of the condemned Indians proved an alibi at the 
last moment. 

Thus ended the Sioux outbreak of 1862 — the most terrible massacre 
the country has ever known. It is stated by R. I. Holcombe, in "Minnesota 
in Three Centuries," from which book many of the facts in the foregoing 
account are taken, that more white people perished in that savage slaughter 
than in all the other massacres ever perpetrated on the North American 


In 1859 a road was built by the government from St. Cloud to Ft. 
Abercrombie, near the present site of Breckenridge, Wilkin county. This 
road entered Grant county on section 36, Pelican Lake township, and crossed 
the northeastern corner of the county. This road was for some years the 
main line of travel for soldiers on their way to the frontier forts in the Red 
river valley, and was also used for stage coach traffic and ox-teams hauling 
supplies to the upper garrisons. In 1862, as soon as the serious nature of 
the Indian uprising was appreciated by the authorities, the Eighth Regiment 
of Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, then being organized at Ft. Snelling. was 
hurried to the more exposed points on the frontier. The companies were 
widely scattered and one of them, Company D, was assigned to a position 


along the old stage road on what is now section i8, in Pelican Lake township, 
Grant county. 


Company D, Eighth Regiment, Minnesota \'okmteer Infantry, was 
commanded by Capt. Samuel McLarty, with Dennis Jacobs, first lieutenant. 
and Thomas Harris, second lieutenant. The company reached Pelican Lake 
township in September, 1862, and in a skirmish with a small band of 
marauding Sioux two soldiers were killed, Corporal Zenas Blackman and 
Private Comfort B. Luddington. The soldiers then erected a stockade and 
remained there until May, 1864, when the regiment was assembled at Ft. 
Ridgely, to become a part of the expedition under General Sully in his cam- 
paign through the "bad lands." 

The stockade was built on the southeast quarter of section 18, Pelican 
Lake township, on the north side of the road .where it passes between two 
small lakes, which would serve as natural defenses on the south and the 
north. There was quite a steep bluff leadifig down to the lake. The walls of 
the stockade were made from logs, ten or twelve inches in diameter, set close 
together in a trench and nailed securely to one another. They were about 
twelve feet high and enclosed an area some eight rods wide and twelve rods 
long. Two gates, one on the east side and the other on the south, afforded 
entrance to the enclosure. In the northwest corner of the stockade there was 
a two-story block house, with only one door leading from the yard. The 
second stor)' of the block house was built over the first at an angle so that the 
sides of the building really faced in eight directions. Both stories were pro- 
vided with loopholes for rifle firing. Four long low log barracks were built 
for soldiers' quarters and stables, and a story and a half house for the officers. 
There was a well back of the officers' quarters. 

A garrison was maintained at this point until 1865, when the buildings 
and ground were purchased from the government by Carpenter & Burbank, 
owners of the stage line from St. Cloud to Ft. Abercrombie, who placed 
Edward Buckmaster, an old stage driver, in charge of the station. Meager 
provision was made for the entertainment of travelers. Samuel Snow had 
a small sutler's store at the stockade: while the soWiers were still there, and 
about 1868 he was succeeded by N. 0. Puntches, who increased the stock 
of goods and later moved over to the village of Pomme de Terre nearby. 
While at the stockade he used one of the old buildings for a store room. 
In 1872 David Burns traded land at Sauk Center for the farm on which the 
post stood and lived there until he died in 1S79. The old stockade fence was 


used for fuel and the buildings were put to general farm purposes, disappear- 
ing gradually as they outlived their usefulness. 


After the Indians were defeated in the Minnesota valley those who 
fled from the state gathered at Devils Lake, North Dakota, where they were 
re-enforced by large bodies of Sioux from that neighborhood. An expedi- 
tion was organized against these Indians, under command of General Sibley, 
who had been promoted after the battle of Wood Lake. This column 
ascended the Minnesota valley, proceeded to Devils Lake, and thence to the 
Missouri river, where pursuit of the savages was abandoned. On the return 
trip the command marched to Ft. Abercrombie, and then over the old stage 
road through Grant county to St. Cloud. Ole E. Lien, Ole Larson Sunvold 
and Jens Peterson Lee were members of this expedition, and later became 
settlers in this county, having obtained their first personal knowledge of this 
country while on their way through here in the fall of 1863. 

Another expedition against the Indians in 1863 was known as Hatch's 
Independent Battalion of Cavalry. Three companies were mustered into 
service in September, 1863, and in October marched through Grant county 
to the Red river valley and went down the river to Pembina. In connection 
with the British authorities they captured a number of prisoners. These 
companies were on duty at different frontier posts during 1864, and returned 
to Ft. Snelling in small detachments. One of the members of this command 
who a little later became the first settler in Grant county, was Henry F. San- 
ford, one of the leading figures in the organization of this commonwealth. 


; Early Settlement. 

Aside from the .soldiers and stage company emplo3'ees who Hved at the 
stockade in Pehcan Lake township, the first white resident in Grant county 
was Edward Griffin, who squatted on land in what is now Stony Brook 
township, in 1866. He was a trapper and trader. He constructed a rude 
cabin, planted a small patch of vegetables and later in the season harvested 
a crop of hay. Mr. Griffin had a small stock of provisions and goods which 
he traded to the Indians and half-breeds for furs, and as the white settlers 
began to come in he increased his stock until he had a nice little store. He 
was essentially a trapper, however, and in 1871 left these parts for a loca- 
tion more remote. His shanty was located near the big Skinnemoen grove 
in the northern part of the township. 


The first permanent settler in Grant county was Henry F. Sanford. 
Mr. Sanford made his initial visit to Grant county in 1863 as a member of 
Hatch's Battalion, stopped for a time at the stockade, then moved on with 
the troops to the Red river valley. In 1864 the company returned to the 
stockade, where Mr. Sanford was stationed until 1866, when he was hon- 
orably discharged from the service. In the meantime he had thoroughly 
explored this region and had determined to locate here. He located on sec- 
tion 17, township 129, range 42, just south of the present site of Elbow 
Lake village. He made a homestead filing on this land in 1868. Mr. San- 
ford erected a small cabin which was the first house built in Grant county. 
He culti^'ated a little garden in which he raised .sufficient vegetables to sup- 
ply his personal wants and also enough to entertain other hunters, trappers 
and land seekers who happened his way. For the first few years, however, 
most of liis time was spent in hunting and trapping, as fur gathering in 
those days was more profitable than tilling the soil. 

Following Mr. Sanford, Ole Gudmunson was possibly the next actual 
settler. He took up land in what is now Elk Lake township, in 1867, and 


was the first settler in the county to break a largfe area of prairie land for 

Next in order were Timothy Heald, Joseph Pennock and Frank Smith 
who located here in 1868. Mr. Heald had made a prospecting trip through 
this region the previous year and selected a location on section 24, Pomme 
de' Terra township, as he had hopes of establishing a town in that neigh- 
borhood, there being water power nearby and a railroad had been surveyed 
through there. Mr. Pennock located on section 18, across the line in Peli- 
can Lake township, and developed a farm there. 

Many new settlers came in 1868 and from that year the development 
of the county really begun. K. N. Melby located in Pelican Lake township 
that same year, and Ole E. Lien located in Lien township, he being the 
pioneer for whom the township was named. In 1871 S. S. Frogner located 
in Logan township, the first settler in that portion of the county. In 1869 
Iver G. Holt and L. L. Tobiason located in Pelican Lake township; Ole 
Larson Sunvold in Pomme de Terre: Jens Peterson Lee in Sanford, and 
Halvor Anderson- in Elk Lake. In 1870 O, W. Olson, Ole T. Ring,. Even 
Bjerke, Ole Torstenson and Peter Gran settled in Elk Lake township. In 
that same year John K. Lee and Ole-K. Lee were among those who settled 
in Lien township. 

The year 1871 saw a considerable settlement made in Elbow Lake 
township and also in Stony Brook. In the former township J. N. Sanford 
and Ole O. Canestorp were among the first to locate, and in Stony Brook 
Steiner S. Skinnemoen and H. G. Lillemon were among the first settlers. 

In 1872 accessions were mafle to all these settlements and farms were 
taken up in practically e^•er^■ part of the county except on the "flats" in the 
western border. The following year when the count}' was established and 
organized there were approximately eight hundred people in the county. 


Tlie experience of the pioneers in establishing homes in this \irgin 
land varied only according to their means and equipment at the start, and 
the accessibility to timl>er for fuel and building purposes. As a genera! 
thing they came in covered wagons drawn by teams or oxen, and lived in 
the wagons until they could construct a rude cabin, which was soon dis- 
placed by a comfortable house. Where timber was not to be had, a dug-out 
was constructed and serA^ed as an admirable shelter. Those who had an 
equipment of farming tools went to work at once to cultivate their land. 


but they were in the minority, as most of the early settlers had very little. 
The country abounded with game and many of the pioneers secured a large 
part of their liA'ing by hunting and fishing. There was a ready market for 
all kinds of pelts. Some of the early settlers used their teams and oxen to 
haul freight between go\ernment posts and thus secured money to purchase 
farm equipment. Earring accident, the first few years were the hardest, 
but after a garden was started and markets were near enough to receive 
the crops, it was not long until the rich soil began to return a sufficient 
harvest to supply all necessary- improvements for home and fami. 

Before the first railroad entered Grant county, in 1871, the long trip 
necessary to mill and market was one of the chief difficulties of the settlers, 
and even this first railroad did not entirely solve the problem for those in 
the northern part of the county. Some of the first crops were hauled to 
Morris, Alexandria and even to Perham. 


Henry F. San ford and two other bachelors were the only settlers in 
San ford township in the early part of i86g. They lived principally by 
hunting and fishing, doing little farming until they were married a few 
years later. Many stories are told of Mr. Sanford's skill as a hunter. It 
is said that he usually had his granary decorated each winter with a long 
string of wild geese hung under the eaves, where they would keep during 
the cold weather and could be used as needed. Prairie chicken were so plen- 
tiful they could be shot from his dooryard. 

From the very beginning of settlement in this county Air. Sanford took 
a leading part in public affairs. He was a member of the first board of 
county commissioners, later was county auditor and was postmaster of El- 
bow Lake village for many years. While Sanford township was one of the 
first to l:>e settled it was one of the last to be organized, being attached to 
other townships for election and assessment purposes until 1882. When 
the petition for organization was circulated that year the name was left 
blank and the commissioners unanimously decided to name the new town- 
ship "Sanford," in honor of the man who had devoted so much of his life 
to this county. Mr. Sanford was killed in an accident in Xew Mexico in 

Ole Fletcher and John Olson settled in Sanford township in 1869. 
Thev were hunting companions of 'Mr. Sanford. and it was in the cabin of 
Ole Fletcher that the first school was held in the township. In 1869 Jens 


Peterson Lee, with his wife and four-month-old daughter, settled in San- 
ford township. For ahnost two years Mrs. Lee was the only white woman 
in the neighborhood. Mr. Lee had passed through Grant county with the 
Sibley expedition and in the winter of 1867 made a trip to this locality 
from' Brandon on snow shoes. He arrived at the site of the village of 
Elbow Lake just at dusk in the winter evening and came suddenly upon 
an Indian camp. A number of dogs rushed towards him, but he was able 
to drive them off, after which the Chippewas invited him to share their sup- 
per of roast muskrat. It developed later that these Indians had cut down 
a number of trees in the grove which was owned by George McComber, 
a timber speculator, and built some sixteen rude huts near the east side of 
the lake. For thus despoiling the timber they were taken to Alexandria 
and fined a considerable amount, which they paid in furs.. 

When Mr. Lee came with his family to settle in 1869 they lived for 
the first year in one of the Indian shacks, then located on land west of the 
lake on section 7. In 1870 Chris Mobraaten located in Sanford township, 
and that same year Ole Syverson and wife came in. Knud O. Laastuen 
settled on section 8, in 1873. C. S. Dahl, Ollof Otteson, Gunder Hanson 
and Henry Gnnderson were among the settlers of an early day in Sanford 

These settlers marketed their first crops at. Morris, then Herman, and 
later hauled to Ashby. When the railroad was being built the construction 
gangs created a considerable market and several loads of potatoes were 
hauled to Tintah and sold. Flour was purchased by the early settlers of 
Sanford township until mills were established within driving distance. 


Timothy Heald laid out a town-site on his claim in section 24, and 
named it "Pomme de Terre." The township later was given the same name. 
Other early settlers in this township were: C. W. Briggs, who located on 
section 13 in 1870; Ole Sornson, on section 13 in 1871 ; Nels B. Brakke, 
on section i in 1871 : George W. Vaughan and his son, John S. \'aughan, 
on section 12 in 1870; Oliver Williams, on section 23 in 1872; Thomas E. 
Midbon and Halvor O. Midbon, on section 24 in 1872; John Scott, Jens 
Adriansen and Ole Johnson Lene, all came at an early day. Another well 
known early settler was J. P.. Rolf son, who located on section i in 187.S. 

N. p. Puntches moved his general merchandise stock from the old 
stockade over to the village of Pomme de Terre in 187 1 and erected a two- 


Story frame building, twenty-six by fifty feet in dimensions. In 1874 
August Scheafer and Fred Williams built a grist-mill on the Pomme de 
Terre river, near the village, where they had made a mill-race which devel- 
oped seven head of water power. In 1875 Lage Johnson and his son-in-law, 
H. A. Langlie, built a store across the street from Puntches' establishment. 
The village seemed to be getting a good 'start, but the railroad did not come 
through there, and the early hopes of its founders were never realized. At 
one time, however, the village could boast of two stores, two blacksmith 
shops, a grist-mill, elevator, hotel and saloon. 


The settlement of Pelican Lake township was closely interwoven with 
the development just mentioned in Pomme de Terre, a number of the early 
claims being taken across the line from the village. There was also an 
early settlement made in the north part of the township, by people who had 
friends north of there in Otter Tail county. Among these were Iver G. Holt 
and Andrew J- Holt, who settled on section 2 in 1870; Peter Sorkness and 
John Stene, on section 2 in 1871 ; Thomas Gulickson and Gunder Gulick- 
son, on section i in 1872; John Houston, on .section 3 in 1870; John New- 
man and Abner Newman, on section 5 in 1870; L. M. Phinney, Charles 
Phinney and Jacob Halsetb, on section 4 in 1872; Martin Jacobson, on 
section 3, and Gunder Gunderson and Hans Kjorven, all came at an early 

Ole Larson Sun\'old settled on section 2g, lieing one of the first in the 
southern part of the township. R. Beardsley, one of the most prominent 
early settlers, long a justice of the peace and still living at Ashby, came into 
the township in 1869. Ole P. Settra, who came in about the same time, 
is said to have built the first house in the township, on Pelican Heights, 
north of the lake. 

Settlers in Pelican Lake got their flour at Alexandria until the mill was 
built at Pomme de Terre. This township was a noted region for game in 
the early days, all kinds of ducks, geese, cranes, grouse and deer and bear 
being plentiful. 


J. N. .Sanford came to Elbow Lake township in April, 1871, and look 
up a homestead on section 24. In May of that same year H. P. Hansen, 
Tiedeman H. Purtness, Erick Norgaard and Andrew Norgaard all located 


here \nders O. Pikop, who located here in 1872, became one of the large 
landowners of the township. Christopher Mobraaten, Lars Mohagen, H. I. 
Haugen, Andrew Olson, Erick Olson, Knut Syverson and Christopher Tor- 
gerson, all located here in 1871. 

The fir.t church service in Elbow Lake township was held at the house 
of Christopher Mobraaten in the summer of 1871, by Rev. L. Carlson, of 
the Svnod Lutheran church. The first school was taught by Emma Gould, 
starting on May 10. 1875. The nearest early mill to this settlement was 
at \lexandria. Most of the early crops were hauled to Herman, but the 
nearest early store was at Ponm.e de Terre. J. N. Sanford. who was one 
of the organizers of the township and served as chairman of the first board 
of supervisors, was also rural postmaster for the neighborhood m the early 
davs The first death in the township was that o£ John Robinson, a settler 
who perished in the terrible snowstomi which raged for three days on Jan- 
uary 6, 7 and 8, 1873. 


\ Strong settlement sprung up in Elk Lake township at an early day. 
Among those who came before 1872 were: Ole Gudmunson, Halvor Ander- 
son, William Olson, Ole Torstenson, Jens Sethney, Sam Olson BerntS. en- 
son Tore Olson. Ole T. Ring. Tver Johnson, Kittel Johnson, O e Anderson^ 
Peder Gran, A. Benson, O. W. Olson. A. Hubred, Syver Ellmgson and 
Even E Bjerke Ole Ostenson and Hans Ostenson were also early settlers. 
The fir"^t school in the county was built in this township m the wmter 
of 1872-73. Rev. Louis Carlson held religious services ni this township 

also at an early day. , ., , , t-,, t 1 

One of the first roads in the county was built through Elk Lake 
township to Herman and connected with a road to Alexandria. These t.-o 
points were the early marketing places for settlers m this ne>ghl>orhooch 
Stillman Meeker built a grist-mill on section i. which did grinding for the 
settlers and was known as the ^'Chippewa Mills.' 


Congressional township 128. range 42, was the first to be organized as 
a civil township. It was named '•Lien" for Ole E. Lien, who came in 1868 
Ld tlka pre-emotion claim and also a homestead. Erland Anderson, 
Han Hanson and Lars Larson were among the very early settlers in he 
township. Per Erlandson located on section 18 at a very earlv date. Other 


early settlers were : Jens O. Strand, Ole D. Bartness, Alons Hesjedal, Mar- 
tin Larson. H. Eide. Jens K. Gran, John G. Peterson, P. A. Moller, K. O. 
Bakke, Ole Alostad and A. Holen. 

Per Erlandson was for a numljer of 3'ears county surveyor and is now 
the oldest li\'ing pioneer in Lien township. When he came here the country 
was all raw prairie with the exception of a few straggling thickets by the 
lakeside, and here he established a home, hauling the siding for his small 
frame house from Benson by ox-team and making the bricks himself for 
the foundations and chimney. W^ith the assistance of his wife he dug a 
well twenty-eight feet in depth, which still serves on the old home place. 

P. A. ]\[rj|!er was the first postmaster in Lien township. He carried 
the mail from Alexandria to Herman and kept the postoffice at his farm 
on section 22. Later R. J. Beach was postmaster until the office was moved 
to Barrett, where Ole K. Lee was the first postmaster in 1884. Lien town- 
ship settled up rapid!}' in the early years and the homesteads were all taken 
in 1878. 


Settlement was made in what is now Logan township in 1871, when 
S. S. Frogner located there and very soon after his arrival opened a small 
store for the con\'enience of the incoming settlers. As the railroad came 
through that same year it served to encourage settlement in this neighbor- 
hood and the next few years witnessed rapid development. The townsite 
of Herman was laid out and all lines of business necessary to a frontier 
town were quickly established. Herman became the leading village of the 
county and remained so until it was definitely decided that it would not 
have the county seat. 

Some of the early settlers of Logan township were: E. A. Ziebarth, 
P. H. Clague. Lewis T. Breen, Plans Prydz, Andrias Larson, A. C. Earslev, 
P. A. Lamarche, G. Johnson, Ole Taneru. O. \A^estin. H. W. Simons, Will- 
iam J. Brown, L. Baker, John Ohlsson, John Galvin, Charles Tancre and 
C. Pullman. 


Mention has already been made of Edward Griffin, who located for a 
short time in Stony Brook township and then mo\-ed on. In 1870 three 
brothers came from northeastern Towa and settled here. They were Hans 
H., Terrace and Knute Haavig. They sent back word to their friends in 
Iowa al:)Out the fine land here and induced many others from that section 


to join them. In 1871 quite a little colony came from Iowa and located in 
Stony Brook township. Among them were: Steiner S. Skinnemoen, H. G. 
Lillemon, Martinus Larson, Chris Mobraaten, Tosten K. Dahlen and Peder 
Gulbranson. In 1872 these settlers with a number of others contributed 
three or four logs each and built a little cabin in which church services were 
held. It was also used for a school house. Rev. Torgus Vetleson, who 
started a number of cliurches in this neigh1x)rhood, was the first pastor. 
Hans H. Haavig led the singing in the church services and also taught the 
first school. Children came from long distances to attend this school, stav- 
ing a few weeks ■\\'ith neighbors and then returning home. 

Other early settlers in Stony Brook township were: Knute P. Eidahl, 
H. Albertson, Nils N. Brevig, Ole Knudtson, Engebret Knudtson, John K. 
Folken, Anders Kjorven, Hans P. Heijer, Knut Olson, Jens Erickson, 
Cliristian Johnson, Kittel A. Sattra and Reier G. Baa.sen. 

The first house erected in Stony Brook township stands on the farm 
of John S. Skinnemoen and is being preserved with great care. JMr. Skin- 
nemoen also has an extensi\e and interesting collection of Indian relics 
formerly used by the nati\es in this neighbohood, consisting of arrow-heads, 
spear-heads, stone hammers and axes. 


Many names were suggested when Roseville township was about to be 
organized, but the settlers finally decided upon a name which would remind 
them of the appearance of the virgin prairie when they located there, l^eau- 
tiful with thousands of wild roses. At the time of organization, in 1878, 
the township was pretty well settled, and as most of the settlers had come 
in after the railroad penetrated this section, they did not have quite such 
a hard task as the pioneers who came a little earlier. 

L. H. Patchen was one of the early settlers and had a postoffice at his 
farm for several years. The nearest mill was Jolinson's mill at Morris, but 
provisions could be secured at Frogner's store at Herman. Among the 
early settlers were: August Endreson, Henry Boerner. H. J. Bollum, Theo- 
dore Shauer, C. W. Gii¥ord, Alliert Boerner, Syver Erickson, H. O. Han- 
son, Carl Anderson, John Brennin, P. F. McCollor, Hans Endreson, Charles 
W'erk. Charles Sliauer. John P. Molander, Charles A. Haskins. Ludvik 
Korner, S. R. Lerum, Ole Halvorson. John H. Kroke, Henry Bundv. Ferd 
Clark and John Buckman. 



Settlement was made in Erdahl township at quite an early day, and 
the pioneer homes were developed in all parts of the township. Perhaps 
the largest early settlement was along the road which connected Elbow 
Lake and Evansville. This was the first route established to mill and mar- 
ket for this neighborhood. 

Gilbert Gilbertson was one of the first to locate here, and Gilbert Alun- 
son and Ole Munson were early settlers. Other pioneers of Erdahl town- 
ship were : Jacob Olson, Mikkel D. Lien, Knute A. Lien, Ole Nilson, Mar- 
tin O. Boe, Ole A. Boe, Nils A. Lee, Nils Olsen, Erik Nilson, Peder T. 
Alvstad. Thore Jensen and H. D. Downen. 


There was an early trail which later became a road running north 
from Morris over which many of the pioneers of Land township made their 
entrance to Grant county. Settlement was made here about the same time 
as in Elk Lake township to the north, but not so rapidly at first. This 
township ofi^ered many natural advantages or account of the timber and 
watering places along the Pomme de Terre and Chippewa rivers. A num- 
ber of pioneers in Land township came from Wisconsin. 

Some of the early settlers in Land township were: Erik Olson, Lars 
O. Studlien, S\en Ausland, Christian Pederson, A. D. Ausland, Anton L. 
Studlien, Jolm L. Studlien, Hans Helland, Ole Clarquist, G. P. Eklof and 
Ole Erikson. 


Settlement in Macsville township was rapid after the railroad came 
through in 1 87 1. A nearby trading point was established at Herman and 
the fine land around the numerous lakes was soon taken up. 

Francis McNabb was one of the first settlers and was chairman of the 
first board of supervisors. John McQuillan, another early settler, was the 
first township clerk. Other early settlers were: John Gustafson, H. P. 
Ronell, Hans Christianson, H. H. Schram, J. W. Perry, John Sannom and 
Gustaf Johnson. 



One of the first roads built in Grant county connected Herman, Elbow 
Lake and Pomme de Terre \'illages, running through Delaware township. 
.\long this road and in the eastern part of the township were the principal 
early settlements. Mails were carried from Herman over the road to Bar- 
rett, with offices at farm houses